PVA: Bushfire Disaster Recovery Advice

The following is provided by President Louise Freebairn the Partners of Veterans Association of Australia NSW Branch Inc. to assist those who have suffered due to the bushfires. The list of phone numbers covers NSW areas.

PVA ‘s own support line on 1300 553 835 for its members and those in the veteran community.

Disaster Recovery Payment

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment has been activated for people severely affected by the NSW Bush Fires. This provides a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child if your home has been destroyed or severely damaged – including smoke damage.

Call 180 2266 to apply.

New South Wales Fires

November/ December 2019

People are encouraged to register online at Register Find Reunite.

The Disaster Welfare Assistance Line is currently open every day.

Disaster Welfare – they have grants available but they are a one off payment towards damage to your house/principal place of residence only.

1800 018 444—-8:30am – 4:30pm

Evacuation Centres OPEN 1 January 2020

Eurobodalla LGA

Hanging Rock Sports Club Function Centre, Hanging Rock Place, Batemans Bay NSW 2536 – open 8am to 8pm, until further notice

Moruya Basketball Stadium (within Moruya Showground), Albert Street, Moruya NSW 2537 – open from 8am on 31 December 2019, until further notice

Narooma Leisure Centre, 100 Bluewater Drive, Narooma NSW 2546 – open from 8am on 31 December 2019, until further notice

Bega Valley Shire LGA

Bega Showground, High Street, Bega NSW 2550 – open until further notice

Eden Fisherman’s Club – 217 Imlay Street Eden NSW 2551 -open until further notice 

Bermagui Surf Club – 1 Lamont Street, Bermagui NSW 2546 – open until further notice

Snowy Valleys LGA

Tumbarumba RSL Memorial Hall, Whitton Street, Tumbarumba NSW 2653 – open until further notice

Adelong Services and Citizens Club, 54 Tumut Street, Adelong NSW 2729 – open until further notice

City of Shoalhaven LGA

Ulladulla Civic Centre – 81B Princes Highway, Ulladulla NSW 2539 – open until further notice

Bomaderry Bowling Club – 154 Meroo Street, Bomaderry  NSW 2541 – open until further notice

St Georges Basin Country Club – 11 Paradise Beach Road, Sanctuary Point NSW  2540 – open until further notice

Goulburn – Mulwaree LGA

Goulburn Recreation Area – Veolia Arena, 45 Braidwood Road, Goulburn –  open from 8am to 8pm

Snowy Monaro LGA

Bomballa Community Centre – 163 Maybe Street, Bombala 2632 – open until further notice

Cooma Multi-Function Centre, corner of Cromwell Street and Boundary Street, Cooma NSW 2630 (near the Showground) – open until further notice

Lake Macquarie LGA

Avondale University, Central Road, Cooranbong – open until further notice

Disaster Welfare Assistance Points

Lithgow LGA -Lithgow (in conjunction with council recovery centre)- Lithgow Workies Club 3-7 Tank street, Lithgow. Open 2-3 January 2020, 9am to 5pm

The Disaster Welfare Assistance Points in Kempsey, Taree and Grafton have been transitioned to council on the 20 December.

Services and information will continue to be available through council.

Over the holiday period, assistance is still available via:

Housing: 1800 422 322 (24/7)

Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511

Animal and Agriculture Hotline: 1800 814 647

Disaster Welfare Assistance Line: 1800 018 444

Small Business Grants–Grants of up to $15,000 are available if your business has been directly affected by bush fire.Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/disaster-recovery-grants for eligibility criteria.

Primary Producer Grants -Grants of up to $15,000 are available for bush fire affected primary producers. Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/disaster-assistance/disaster-recovery-grants for eligibility criteria.

Local Government Areas this applies to: Armidale Regional, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lismore, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Richmond Valley, Tenterfield, Tweed and Walcha.

Clean-up Assistance

If your property is insured, please contact your insurer about clean-up.

If you are uninsured and your home has been damaged or destroyed, Public Works Advisory will arrange for the clean-up of your residence and immediately adjacent outbuildings, including the removal of concrete slabs.

If you are uninsured, please contact Public Works Advisory on 1800 88 55 39 to discuss the clean-up of your property.

The Insurance Council of Australia can be contacted with any questions, complaints or concerns about insurance on 1800 734 621.

Safety –General advice

Please avoid areas where bushfires are occurring. Stay off the road; don’t travel unless you need to. Report unattended fires or suspicious activity immediately to Triple Zero (000) and follow the advice of authorities. Residents need to read all warnings in full to ensure they stay up-to-date with the latest information – this includes evacuation routes and evacuation centres. Areas closed off due to the bushfire emergency will reopen when it is safe to do so.

Bushfires can topple trees and power lines and leave debris strewn across the landscape, posing a significant health and safety risk. People returning home need to be mindful of hazards even after a bushfire has been extinguished.

Mental health

It’s completely normal to experience a range of emotions after a fire, including anxiety, forgetfulness, sleep disturbance and more. Having someone to listen to and support you through this is very important. Check in on your friends and neighbours, and if you or someone you know needs help, reach out.The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511; Lifeline – 13 11 14 ; Mensline – 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800; Beyondblue – 1300 22 4636

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.

Free face-to-face support The following free services are available to people impacted by fires and drought. 

Hunter / New England – Healthwise 1800 931 540 

North Coast – Connect to Wellbeing 1300 160 339

Insurance

Are you insured? If you are insured talk to your insurance company as soon as possible about how to make a claim.

Take photos or video of damage to your property and possessions as evidence for your claim.

If you have clearance from your insurer and evidence for your claim, you can start cleaning up.The Insurance Council of Australia can be contacted with any questions, complaints or concerns about insurance on 1800 734 621.

Uninsured? If you are not insured and have limited income, you may be eligible for a disaster relief grant. Contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

Replacing personal documents

Service NSW can help replace many of your personal documents free of charge if they were damaged or destroyed. This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, licences and number plates. For assistance please visit your nearest NSW Service centre, or call 13 77 88

Housing Assistance

In NSW, social housing providers can provide support and assistance to people who are affected as a direct result of natural disasters such as fires, floods and severe storms.

What types of service are available?

Social housing providers in NSW can assist affected people with access to products such as:

Temporary Accommodation – time limited accommodation for clients who are experiencing immediate homelessness

Emergency Temporary Accommodation – short-term temporary housing for up to 3 months for clients in urgent need of housing because of natural disaster [who would not normally be eligible for social housing]

Rentstart Bond loan – an interest-free loan to assist eligible clients pay a rental bond for a tenancy

Housing Assistance – a range of housing assistance products and services [including the above] that a person may be eligible for.

Where to go for help during business hours

During regular business hours 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday, visit any social housing provider.

A list of social housing providers can be found at ww.facs.nsw.gov.au/about/contact/housing

Where to get help after hours

The Department of Communities and Justice Housing Contact Centre (HCC) operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The HCC can assist people with

• Temporary accommodation

• General housing enquiries

• Applications for housing assistance

Important numbers

Link2Home – 1800 152 152—For temporary accommodation – this information and referral service is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

DCJ Housing Contact Centre 1800 422 322–Available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Animal Welfare

Local Land Services is assisting with emergency fodder, stock water and assessment of animals impacted by the fire.

The Animal & Welfare hotline (1800 814 647) will supply fodder and water for fire affected livestock.  They also can link you direct to other services.  Anyone can phone on the affected family’s behalf though you need to be able to provide a reliable contact number that they can call the person on. Landholders are encouraged to call the Agriculture and Animal Hotline to request assistance or report any stock losses.

Animal & Agriculture Hotline: 1800 814 647

Starting your clean-up

Houses, sheds and other buildings that have been burnt in a bush fire can leave potential health and safety hazards in the remaining rubble and ash.

Hazardous household materials that may be present after a bush fire include asbestos, ash from burnt treated timbers (i.e. copper chrome arsenate or CCA), medicines, garden or farm chemicals, other household chemicals and cleaning products, damaged gas bottles, metal and other residues from burnt household appliances as well as ash and dusts.

Other hazards may include unsafe building structures, electrical hazards or missing fencing panels around pools. When returning to your property after a bushfire, consider the following precautions to protect your health:

Please do not enter your property until you are advised that it is safe to do so.

Electrical hazards could exist such as live power lines that may be down or active solar panels.

Buildings and other structures may be unstable to enter or walk over.

Sewerage services may be disrupted causing health risks.

Be aware that hot, smouldering coals and other potentially hazardous materials may be hidden under the rubble.

Building rubble should not be buried as it may contain hazardous materials.

Don’t spread ash around your property, particularly if asbestos materials were used in your home or other structures, or CCA-treated timber was burnt.

Moisten the ash with water to minimise dust and keep damp but do not use high pressure water sprays.

Wear a P2 face mask and protective clothing.

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