NEW SOUTH WALES
The NSW Government has launched a business portal that calls for input from anyone that may have the capability and capacity to provide and purchase goods and/or services in affected regions. This will help to inform a supplier list which can help assist buyers to give first preference to appropriate local suppliers based in affected regions.
If you are an NSW Government Buyer including private hospitals, local councils, non-profit organisations, educational institutes and public authorities or a private buyer you can use this platform to provide information about the needs of your programs of bushfire recovery work. The application can be found here.
If you are a vendor you can register your interest here in providing urgent works in a range of goods and/or services as part of the bushfire recovery program.
Fair trading can provide information on credit matters to assist people in negotiating repayments with their lenders and fund regional based financial counselling and legal services for people in financial hardship.
Legal Aid NSW
For those impacted by the bushfires, Legal Aid NSW is currently providing free, practical legal assistance to help people recover and rebuild. The LawAccess NSW Disaster Response Hotline is 1800 801 529 or go to www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
Safe Work NSW
Will replace NSW licences at no cost to those affected by natural disasters. Call 13 10 50 or visit http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au
Will replace certificates and drivers licences at no cost to those affected by natural disasters. Call 13 77 88 or visit http://www.service.nsw.gov.au/assistance-bush-fire-affected-communities
Motor Vehicle Stamp Duty Relief
Motorists whose cars have been written off as a result of a natural disaster may be eligible for a stamp duty refund on their replacement vehicle. Call 1300 139 814 or visit https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/taxes-duties-levies-royalties/motor-vehicle-duty/relief
Small Business Recovery Toolkit
The NSW Small Business Commission has developed a range of resources to help small business owners recover from disasters. Visit https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/disaster-recovery to access these resources.
These complement the NSW Government’s Get Ready Business – five step guide to preparing for disasters (2018), which helps business owners prepare for disaster in five simple steps.
Solving Problems and Dispute Resolution Service
Access a confidential and free dispute resolution service which has been set up to help small businesses needing assistance to work through problems with other businesses or government. The NSW Small Business Commission helps parties talk about their problems and work towards a solution through negotiation and communication. We can also assist small businesses with issues in relation to insurance and regulatory concerns. Call 1300 795 534 or visit https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/dispute-resolution
Utility Payments Hardship Support
Customers experiencing any form of long term or temporary hardship with management of utility accounts are advised to contact their retail provider to discuss payment options as soon as possible. Get help paying energy bills – http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/?a=295483 4
Energy and Water Ombudsman
The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW, provides a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for all electricity and gas customers in NSW, and some water customers. Call 1800 246 545 or visit https://www.ewon.com.au
Rural Financial Counselling Service
Rural Business Support provides a free rural financial counselling service for primary producers or small rural businesses who are more than 75% reliant on primary production for income.
It can help you to make decisions and work through the implications of the current situation on your business.
- Phone 1800 836 211 (freecall).
Emergency Relief Assistance Payment
Personal Hardship Assistance Program payments are available to provide immediate financial help for eligible Victorians experiencing extreme financial hardship due to the current bushfire emergency. These payment are for people directly impacted to cover the cost of emergency food, accommodation, clothing, medication and personal items. Payments of up to $560 per adult and $280 per child (up to a maximum of $1960 per eligible household).The payments have strict eligibility requirements and are distributed via a prepaid debit card that can be used to make purchases via EFTPOS or withdraw cash from bank ATMs.To find out if you are eligible, visit a relief centre in the area. Click here to check which relief centres are open. If you have relocated to Melbourne or other areas away from these relief centres you can call: 1800 961 054 (9am – 5pm, 7 days per week) for more information.
Emergency Re-establishment Payments
Emergency re-establishment assistance is available if your principal place of residence (your home) is uninhabitable for more than seven days because of an emergency. Provides up to $42,250 per eligible household experiencing financial hardship, who have been affected by fire at their primary place of residence. The grants will be available for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents. If you think you may be eligible for a re-establishment payment, you can speak to the payment assistance helpline 1800 961 054. They will take your details and the department will be in contact soon.
Bushfires Case Support Program
The Bushfire Case Support Program provides practical support for people who have been affected by the Victorian bushfires. Case Support Coordinators can help with:
- discussing your needs and the next steps you could take
- information and support to access services
- completing paperwork
- community information
- financial counselling and assistance with insurance
- advice for business owners
- a small amount of financial support to help with immediate needs.
People from bushfire impacted areas in East Gippsland and North East Victoria can access this free service over the phone or face to face. To access this program or find out more call 1800 560 760 (8am–6pm weekdays and 9am–5pm on weekends) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Recovery Package
The Victorian Community recovery package will provide $86 million in support to the local government areas affected by the bushfires. This package includes recovery grants of up to $75,000 to assist farmers (primary producers) who have lost most of their farm business assets and assist remote farmers where transportation and clean-up costs are much hirer. You can register your eligibility/interest here.
Bushfire Clean-up Program
Registration is open for the 2020 Clean-Up Program. This program is voluntary and free of charge for eligible Victorian property owners. The program covers the demolition and disposal of all buildings destroyed or damaged beyond repair by this season’s bushfires. This may also include the removal of fencing, trees and vehicles, but only where it is necessary for the safe clean-up of destroyed buildings. To register, click here.
The Victorian government will pay half the cost of materials to repair or replace fencing bounding with National Parks, State Parks and State Forests where this has been damaged or destroyed by bushfires. To access this program or find out more call DELWP’s Customer Contact Centre on 136 186
Disaster Legal Help Victoria provides free legal advice, assistance and referrals to people affected by a disaster. For assistance, please phone Disaster Legal Help Victoria’s free helpline on 1800 113 432. This phone line is open throughout the year between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Replacing documents and identification
The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria will replace certificates that were lost in the recent bushfires, free of charge. You can call the Department of Justice and Community Safety on 03 5215 8500 and they will mail the forms to you.
If you’ve been affected by the recent fires VicRoads can:
- Refund your remaining registration without any admin fees for any fire damaged vehicles
- replace vehicle and/or boat registration documents requred for insurance claims
- replace your licence/learner permit/marine licence card for free.
For assistance, contact VicRoads on 13 11 71 or visit a VicRoads Customer Service Centre. Further information can be found here.
Support for people with unpaid fines
Fines Victoria is providing assistance to people who have been impacted by the fires and have unpaid fine. Contact Fines Victoria to discuss your options and the support available.
Emergency water for bushfire affected residents
Residents in bushfire affected areas who are without drinking and domestic water supply due to tank contamination can contact South East Water who are providing bushfire aid to tank water users in the affected North East Victoria and East Gippsland regions. Eligible permanent residents in the declared bushfire affected areas of East Gippsland and some parts of the Wellington Shire will be provided a tank water flush and top-up of 5,000 litres. Anyone seeking emergency water assistance from the bushfire affected areas should contact South East Water on 131 851.