Bushfire Recovery

Gumtree with new growth after bushfire

1. Overview

Bushfire Recovery and Assistance

We have established a bushfire recovery assistance point in Braidwood to assist residents navigate their way through bushfire support measures that are in place. We are operating out of the Old Braidwood Library (Park Lane).

We also supplement these office hours with visits to affected communities. 

Contact us

  • Call us on 6285 6789
  • Email us at recovery@qprc.nsw.gov.au
  • drop in to see us at the Old Braidwood Library during opening hours of 9am to 3pm Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Bushfire Customer Care Service 

For people impacted by bushfire, the NSW Bushfire Customer Care Service will help you navigate the support and financial assistance that's available from the NSW State Government and Federal Government.

Types of assistance available includes:

  • Accommodation advice
  • Relevant charitable services
  • Mental health and wellbeing services
  • Support for businesses
  • Clean-up services
  • Financial assistance
  • Grants and rebates
  • Insurance and legal support
  • Replacing lost ID
  • Volunteer RFS and SES payments.

 You can register by:

Recovery Connect

Recovery Connect website allows you to:

  • find relief and recovery services and supports near your location
  • view details of services that are offered
  • connect you either by phone, email or in person 

2. Recovery Committees and Groups

Queanbeyan-Palerang Bushfire Recovery Committee

Works to coordinate a cross-section of agencies operating in the local Government area to facilitate an effective recovery process for impacted communities. This committee works towards achieving the Recovery Action Plan. This plan has been developed based on identified local needs and priorities. 

Meeting Monthly 

Local Health and Wellbeing Working Group

This group will support coordination of the health and wellbeing agencies and initiatives in the recovery process. It will assist local and regional recovery efforts for impacted communities.

Local Economic Recovery Advisory Group

LERAG assists local communities regain an acceptable level of economic and business functionality following the fires. They will assist with planning, implementing and monitoring activities for economic recovery.

Bushfire Renewal Reference Group

This group provides a forum where individuals, community groups, non-government organisations and government agencies can work together to provide information and advice to the Regional Recovery Committee and the Health and Wellbeing Committee specific to bushfire recovery.

The reference group will work to the following guidelines

  • Identifying local strengths and assets to promote community empowerment
  • Collective action, collaborative projects, lobbying and advocacy
  • Sharing of information, ideas and experience
  • Network building, strengthening community partnerships and cultural awareness.

3. Recovery Resources

Support for recovery staff

  • Supporting the Supporters in disaster recovery https://supportingthesupporters.org/ - A practical guide for who have a role supporting the long term post - disaster recovery in communities.
  • The Recovery Wellbeing Hub is a resource developed by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and planning. The Hub pulls together various tools with a focus on protecting the mental health and wellbeing of those involved in emergency recovery. There are also some relevant short videos for employers and employees about how to support people working in recovery, looking after yourself, and managing living and working in a disaster impacted community.
  • Beyond Bushfires – 10 year study following 2009 Victorian Bushfires
  • Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience - Disaster recovery is a dynamic field – knowledge on effective recovery has changed significantly in the past two decades, and continues to develop through research and practice. This collection brings together resources, information and publications focused on recovery in Australia and internationally. AIDR Recovery Collection 
  • Recovery Matters Webinar Series - The Recovery Matters webinars get to the heart of key issues in disaster recovery. How do you go about supporting communities in recovery? What can you expect on the journey ahead? What about the support needs of particular groups? Through a series of informative webinars, the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience invites expert speakers to share what they know and help us move forward with disaster recovery. View all webinars on the  Recovery Matters webinars YouTube playlist.
  • Red Cross is currently managing a bushfire recovery program in areas affected by the 2019-20 black summer fires. Register or watch sessions with experts, and connect with our team. Red Cross Bushfire recovery events and webinars.
  • Community Disaster Preparedness and Resilience – We all want our communities to be safer and more resilient to future disasters? This Resilience NSW webinar, hosted live on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, celebrated NSW Get Ready Community Award initiatives that help us better prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Anne Crestani, of Gateway Family Services, spoke on developing a free disaster recovery planning tool for community organisations, while Peter Randall, spoke on leading Warimoo Public School and students in its bushfire preparedness program. Watch this recorded webinar now on:  https://youtu.be/RJvvENOvvVw
  • Community Trauma Toolkit - This toolkit contains resources to help and support adults and children before, during, and after a disaster or traumatic event. It will help you understand some of the impacts of disaster and how you can help lessen these impacts.
    Emergencies and disasters are extremely stressful and it is normal to feel overwhelmed. Children, even infants, can also be affected. They depend on the adults around them for safety and security, and will need reassurance, care, and opportunities to share their feelings. These resources provide a starting point for you to help children navigate the different stages of a disaster https://emergingminds.com.au/resources/toolkits/community-trauma-toolkit/
  • State Toolkits

4. Register for Rates Relief

If you are unable to get to a Service NSW office you can complete the form below to register for rates relief.  

Rates relief is available for properties where the primary residence (or business) has been destroyed. The NSW Government will pay for two instalments/six months of general rates, and the Council will pay up to $470 for two months of waste management charges. 

Where property has been affected by bushfire, Council will waive interest on payment arrangements to defer rates over a period of up to two years.

Click here to view form.

5. Bushfire Recovery Clean-up

The NSW Government and the Commonwealth are jointly covering the clean-up costs of residential and eligible commercial properties destroyed in the NSW bushfires since 1 July 2019.

Impacted property owners who would like their property cleared need to register at Service NSW or call 13 77 88.

6. Free Legal Service

Legal Aid NSW is operating a Disaster Response Legal Service which provides legal help to people in NSW affected by the bushfires.
Help is available for:

- Insurance
- Credit hardship
- Housing
- Employment
- Replacement of documents (e.g. Certificate of Title)

The Disaster Response Legal Service attends all Disaster Recovery Centres. People can also access the service by calling the Disaster Response HelpLine on 1800 801 529.

7. Mental Health Support

Major events, such as bush fires, cause widespread loss and distress and impact the whole community.

If you have been impacted by the recent fires, you might feel things like frustration, sadness and anxiety, or have trouble sleeping or remembering things.

This is a normal reaction to an abnormal event. Having someone to listen and support you at times like this is important.

Sometimes it’s difficult to talk about what’s going on but it’s important to reach out if you need help.

The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636
  • Lifeline bushfire response line: 13 HELP - 13 43 57
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Mensline: 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

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

8. Community Resilience Plans

We are currently supporting the community to develop Community Resilience Plans. The aim of these plans is to be ensure that our communities are more prepared for future disasters and able to recover from events faster.