This newsletter contains information for people impacted by the recent fires across Northern NSW. 

This document is prepared by the NSW Office of Emergency Management, September 2019


Are you insured? 

If you are insured, you should talk to your insurance company as soon as possible about how to make a claim. If you have clearance, you can start cleaning up immediately – but first take pictures or video of any damage to your property and possessions as evidence for your claim.

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

If you are not insured and have limited income, you may be eligible for a disaster relief grant.


Disaster Relief for Farmers  
Disaster relief is available for eligible farmers and primary producers that have been impacted by fire. This includes:
* Animal welfare assistance 

* Concessional fixed-rate loans up to $130,000                                                                                                                                                                                                      * Transport subsidies for the carriage of livestock, fodder and water


For more information contact: 
Local Land Services – 1800 814 647 
NSW Rural Assistance Authority 1800 684 593
Disaster Relief for Individuals 
Disaster relief grants are for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.  To be eligible for this assistance you must: 
* be a low-income earner and meet an income assets test
* demonstrate that the affected home is your principal place of residence 
* not be covered by insurance 
* demonstrate that the damage was caused by the disaster 
* lodge the application within four months of the disaster occurring
To apply for financial assistance, call Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444. 
Animal Welfare
Local Land Services is assisting with emergency fodder, stock water and assessment of animals impacted by the fire. 
Landholders are encouraged to call the Agriculture and Animal Hotline to request assistance or report any stock losses. 
Animal & Agriculture Hotline: 1800 814 647 
Legal Assistance 
Legal Aid NSW lawyers can provide free legal advice and minor assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues including insurance, tenancy and credit and debt problems. 
Legal Aid NSW: 1800 801 529
Housing Assistance 
Communities and Justice can assist by providing temporary accommodation for up to 28 nights while impacted residents seek alternative longerterm arrangements. Communities and Justice can also provide financial assistance through a repayable bond loan and a non-repayable advanced rent of two weeks. All fire affected residents are eligible for this assistance.
Call Housing: 1800 422 322 
Domestic Water Assistance 
If your potable water has been used by a fire fighting agency to fight the fire, you may be eligible to have it replaced. This assistance is for residential properties in rural areas. Disaster Welfare is working with NSW RFS to identify impacted properties. Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 (Mon–Fri 8.30am-4.30pm) for more information. 
Using Rainwater after a Fire 
If you think that your rainwater tank has been contaminated you can still use the water to:  
• flush toilets 
• wash clothes (providing it will not stain clothes)
• fight fires
It is important for residents in fire affected areas or in areas where ash may have fallen on roofs to ensure that all rainwater from the first full rainfall event is not collected as this may be contaminated by ash.
Fire Retardant Information
Retardants are dropped from the air to suppress and slow the fires and may have landed on some properties. 
This type of retardant is basically a fertiliser (a mix of ammonium and diammonium sulphate and ammonium phosphate). 
This coloured foam will need to be flushed from roofs and water sources. 
For assistance with removing fire retardant from your roof please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 (Mon–Fri 8.30am-4.30pm)
Look Out For Each Other 
Check in with your friends and neighbours – bush fires are distressing and can lead to forgetfulness, sleep disturbance and feeling anxious. These are normal reactions and not a sign of weakness. If you are struggling, there are people you can talk to, like your local GP or health care provider. You can also contact any of the following free services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.  
Mental Health Line 1800 051 511
Lifeline  13 11 14 
MensLine 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 
Beyondblue 1300 22 4636 
For more information and updates, visit