This guide provides information and links for people who have been impacted by bushfires and need immediate help.
Service NSW is working in collaboration with federal, state and local government to bring you all the support and services available. Visit the National Bushfire Recovery Agency for more information.
Emergency services' webpages, apps, phone numbers
For the latest information related to current NSW bushfires, you can monitor your local radio stations or go to:
- NSW Rural Fire Service
- Current Fires and Incidents Map
- RFS Bushfire Information Line - 1800 679 737
- To report an unattended fire or emergency - Triple Zero (000)
- TTY – 106.
Traffic and road closures:
If you have been impacted by bushfires, please register with:
Evacuation and recovery centres, Disaster Welfare Assistance Points (DWAPS)
If you have immediate needs such as temporary accommodation, food or water, visit your nearest DWAP and register for assistance. If you cannot get to a DWAP, call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
The Bushfire Housing Assistance Service provides help with:
- emergency temporary accommodation
- a private rental bond and advance rent costs
- sourcing accommodation options from the private rental and short term housing sector
- sourcing accommodation options in your local communities or areas where you have family or local networks.
You can access the service by calling the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444, or go to Find a housing office and enter your postcode, suburb or town in the search bar. Your nearest housing office will display.
Mental health and wellbeing
There is 24/7 help available on the following numbers:
- Lifeline – 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636
- Mensline – 1300 789 978
- Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800
- Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511.
Note: Farmers and business owners in bushfire-affected areas can access Farm Gate counsellors and peer support workers on the Mental Health Line, 1800 011 511.
Air Quality Index (AQI)
The AQI is a report of air quality and indicates how clean or polluted the air is in areas across NSW. For air quality readings that are updated hourly visit Current and forecast air quality.
The Australian Government has provided more than a million P2 masks to NSW and is reserving a further 505,000. To be effective, these masks must maintain an airtight seal around the face. To learn more about P2 masks and how to fit them, visit NSW Health.
If you're an NDIS participant in a bushfire-affected region, call 1800 800 110 for priority support. You can also visit NDIS Latest news to find out where the Department of Human Services' Mobile Service Teams are being deployed on a given day.
For advice on how to access medications, prescriptions or Medicare, DVA or Centrelink cards that have been lost or destroyed during the bushfires, visit NSW Health.
The NSW Government is coordinating the clean-up of NSW residences and businesses impacted by the NSW bushfires. This includes both insured and uninsured properties.
Visit NSW Bushfire Clean-Up to register for help with your clean-up.
If your land borders national park or nature reserves and you've had fences damaged or destroyed in the fires, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is offering assistance to replace/repair. Visit Assistance for fire-damaged fences for more information.
For emergency fodder, stock water and stock assessment, contact Local Land Services on 1800 814 647.
For assistance with pets, livestock (including horses), and wildlife, complete the RSPCA's Bushfire Assistance Form or get in touch with them:
Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are providing unlimited access to emergency service websites for customers in bushfire-affected areas.
There will be no costs for bushfire-impacted customers accessing:
- ABC News (www.abc.net.au)
- ACT Emergency Services Agency (www.esa.act.gov.au)
- Australian Red Cross (www.redcross.org.au)
- Bureau of Meteorology (www.bom.gov.au)
- Emergency WA (www.emergency.wa.gov.au)
- Federal Government Disaster Assistance (www.disasterassist.gov.au)
- NSW Office of Emergency Management (www.emergency.nsw.gov.au)
- NSW Rural Fire Service (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au)
- NT Police, Fire & Emergency Services (www.pfes.nt.gov.au)
- QLD Rural Fire Service (www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au)
- SA Country Fire Service (www.cfs.sa.gov.au)
- Tasmanian Fire Service (www.fire.tas.gov.au)
- Triple Zero (www.triplezero.gov.au)
- Vic Emergency (www.emergency.vic.gov.au)
- Victorian Country Fire Authority (www.cfa.vic.gov.au)
- WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services (www.dfes.wa.gov.au)
Telstra customers who've suffered severe damage or loss of their premises can call 132 203 for information on:
- free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service for a maximum period of 6 months from the date of the fire
- a one off credit to the value of $500 including GST to the customer’s Telstra fixed phone account to help cover the costs of the following, if required:
- connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at one temporary residence
- re-connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at the customer’s original permanent premises.
In areas where customers are waiting for network damage to be repaired, or where they are still evacuated, the following short-term measures will be in place for a maximum period of 3 months:
- free use of Telstra public payphones in the affected areas
- free use of Telstra Air payphone hotspots in the affected areas
- free call diversion from an affected fixed home or business phone service to another fixed or mobile service of the customer’s choice, regardless of the carrier
- customers who use the free call diversion to divert their affected fixed home or business phone to their Telstra mobile service can also make local and STD® calls on their mobile at fixed-line rates, in accordance with their selected plan (limited to one designated Telstra mobile per affected household or business).
- affected Telstra mobile customers who do not have a Telstra home phone can receive a one-off credit to the value of $100 inc. GST (limited to one mobile phone per Telstra mobile account).
Optus customers who have been impacted by the bushfires can call 1300 301 671 for information on:
free call diversions from an Optus fixed home phone to any mobile or fixed number
extended timeframes for bill payments
bill waivers in instances of extreme financial hardship
free suspension, relocation or cancellation of an Optus fixed service
free prepaid recharges for eligible impacted customers.
Note: Optus is covering the costs of eligible volunteer firefighters’ mobile services for December 2019 and January 2020. If you’re an active volunteer firefighter with an Optus bill, call 1300 301 671 to see if you qualify.
Disaster relief payments that are made to individuals and businesses impacted by the bushfires are tax exempt. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is also providing automatic deferral of lodgement and payment obligations for individuals and businesses in bushfire-affected communities. The ATO Emergency Support Infoline is 1800 806 218.
Call Human Services on 180 22 66 for:
- Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Payment – $1000 per adult and $400 per child for people severely affected by the bushfires
- Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Allowance – short term income assistance for people severely affected by the bushfires.
Call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 for:
- Primary producer assistance – up to $15,000 recovery grants (33 LGAs), concessional loans and transport subsidies for eligible primary producers
- Small business assistance – up to $15,000 recovery grants (33 LGAs), concessional loans and transport subsidies for eligible primary producers
- Sporting club assistance – concessional loans for eligible sporting clubs
- Church and non-profit organisation assistance – up to $15,000 recovery grants (33 LGAs) and concessional loans for eligible churches and non-profit organisations.
Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 for:
- NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants – financial assistance for eligible individuals who have low income and limited assets.
Visit Volunteer Firefighter Payment for:
- payments for eligible volunteer firefighters who are self-employed or employed by a small or medium business and have lost income.
Call the Australian Red Cross on 1800 733 276 if:
- you've lost your home in a bushfire since July 2019, and you'd like to apply for an emergency grant of $5000.
Insurance and legal support
- icare has teams standing by to assist bushfire-impacted customers arrange alternative treatment and care where necessary. Call 13 99 22 or email email@example.com.
- Insurance Law Service provides assistance with insurance claims after bushfires.
- Legal Aid NSW offers free legal advice if you are affected by bushfires.
- NSW Legal Assistance Forum provides plain language law resources relating to bushfires.
Vehicle registrations, licences and number plates
Registration and licensing concessions and refunds will be offered to customers if their vehicle or other relevant documentation has been lost, damaged or destroyed during the NSW bush fires.
- Replacement cards (driver licences, NSW Photo Cards or Mobility Parking Scheme cards) will be issued for free if cards have been lost or damaged during the NSW bush fires.
- NSW Photo Cards are posted to customers generally within 5 business days.
- Driver licence holders will receive a receipt which will act as a temporary licence for a period of 30 days until their photo card arrives in the post.
- Please note:
- If you cannot get to a service centre and an Australia Post service is available, you may be able to request a replacement licence using a Photo Kit form.
- If you cannot get to a service centre or an Australia Post, you may request a free interim driver licence receipt over the phone.
- In some situations, you may be able to renew your licence over the phone. Call 13 22 13, or 13 77 88 for more information.
- Simplified proof of identity requirements are available where identity documents may have been destroyed.
- You can download the Service NSW app to access your NSW Digital Driver Licence. The digital driver licence is legal for use across NSW at no additional cost.
- For number plates lost or destroyed as a result of the bushfires, customers must provide a completed Number Plate Form – PDF at a service centre, in order to reapply for plates. If applicable, there will also be:
- a waiver of the 6-month waiting period for the issue of replacement plates with the same content
- a waiver of reissue, remake and hold fees
- no necessity to provide a police Event Number if applying for a reissue or remake of number plates.
- Some other registration fees may also be waived or refunded, for example, some inspection fees.
For more information, visit the Natural disasters and emergencies - customer assistance policy at the Transport for NSW website.
Vessel registrations, boat and PWC licences
- Free replacement of vessel certificate of registration documents, including labels.
- Replacement cards (boat and PWC licences) will be issued for free. Cards are posted to a nominated address however you'll be issued with an interim paper licence on the spot. (PWC licences also require 2 passport photos).
- Some other vessel registration fees (including transfer, cancellation or late renewal) may also be waived or refunded.
Revenue NSW, motor vehicle stamp duty and fines
- If your motor vehicle was written off in a declared natural disaster, the NSW government may be able to refund any motor vehicle duty you pay on a replacement vehicle.
Revenue NSW may also be able to:
- give you more time to lodge any documents or returns
- defer enforcing any fines against you
- extend your payment deadlines
- agree not to charge you interest
- arrange for you to pay any debts to us in instalments.
More information can be found on the Revenue NSW website.
Birth, Marriage or Change of Name certificates
Birth, Marriage or Change of Name certificates that have been destroyed due to the bushfires can be reissued at no charge at your nearest service centre.
We can also help you to replace certificates registered in other Australian states and territories or in New Zealand.
NSW Fair Trading licences and permits
Free replacement of the following licences, permits or certificates that have been destroyed or lost during the bushfires:
- home building: contractor, qualified supervisor, tradesperson
- property and real estate
- motor vehicle dealer or repairers
- pawnbrokers and second hand dealers
- tattoo parlour or tattooist
- owner builder permits
- tow truck.
To apply for a replacement card use the Application for a Duplicate Licence, Certificate or Permit – PDF, and note on the form that the reason for the card replacement is that it was lost in the bushfires. Also provide the home address if it is different to your nominated address.
Free Owner Builder Permit where you opt to rebuild or repair your home damaged or destroyed by a bushfire (all other standard requirements and associated development approvals apply).
Liquor & Gaming NSW, support for licensees
Liquor & Gaming NSW is providing the following support to licensees who have been affected by the bushfires:
extra assistance for liquor licence applications
temporary relocation of liquor licences to other premises
replacement copies of destroyed licences
replacement signage cost waivers or reductions
financial hardship provisions for annual liquor licence fees
gaming machine tax deferral.
To find out what you may be eligible to apply for, email Liquor & Gaming NSW at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of your situation. Include ‘Bushfires’ in the subject line.
If your licensed premises is unable to trade for more than 6 weeks, please notify the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority by submitting a Cease to trade notice – PDF.
The $40 tag security deposit/s on an E-Toll tag will be waived if your tag has been lost, damaged or destroyed during the NSW bushfires.
Support for rural communities
Mobile Service Centres
Our Mobile Service Centres are visiting bushfire-affected regions to help people who have been impacted by the fires. Check the following pages to find out where the Mobile Service Centres will be on a given day.
NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA)
The NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) provides a range of grants, subsidies and loans to help primary producers, small businesses, non-profit organisations and sporting and recreation clubs affected by bushfires. See Disaster relief loans and Grants and subsidies for more information.
For assistance regarding the transport of donated fodder contact the RAA on 1800 678 593.
Rural programs and services:
- Rural Resilience Program – Department of Primary Industries
- Rural Adversity Mental Health Program – Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
- Rural financial counselling service – Department of Agriculture (Australian Government)
- BlazeAid - Working alongside rural communities, this volunteer-based organisation helps rebuild fences and other structures that are damaged or destroyed in bushfires.
Your donation enables Red Cross to help affected communities recover from emergencies and provide stocks of critical disaster response equipment including water filtration, shelter, hygiene and cooking kits for use in emergencies.