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For more information, including our Disaster Assistance Finder, see Bushfire customer care service.

Stay updated

For the latest NSW bushfires information, you can:

Emergency services

To report an unattended fire or emergency, call:

  • Triple Zero (000) 
  • TTY – 106.

Traffic, road closures and public transport

Stay safe and protect your health

Bushfire registration

If you've been impacted by the fires, find and reunite family and friends after the emergency. Register with the Red Cross service Register. Find. Reunite.

Returning home safely

For health advice on returning home safely after a bushfire, such as wearing protective clothing, handling waste and managing food and water supplies, visit NSW Health.

NSW Government experts will check every fire-damaged property for asbestos. Do not enter your property until you have been told it is safe. Watch the video below to learn about the dangers of fire-damaged properties.

Keeping safe from asbestos after a bushfire

The video starts with a title card showing the NSW Government logo that reads, “Keeping safe from asbestos after a bushfire”.

Narrator: “If your house or business had asbestos present and has been damaged by fire, this could become a health risk.”

We see burnt-out trees, and the remains of a fire-damaged building including fibro and metal items including shelving, a trolley, a barrel and corrugated iron.

Narrator: “Asbestos is mainly found in structures built before 1990.”

Close-ups of broken pieces of asbestos on the ground.

Narrator: “It can be in the fibro cement sheeting that is in walls, ceilings, eaves and roofs, as well as insulation.”

Close-ups of burnt out roofing materials as well as metal benches.

Narrator: “Houses, sheds, garages and out houses could all be affected.”

Another shot of burnt out trees and a burnt-out structure that looks like it might have been a shed with benches and toolboxes strewn around alongside broken pieces of asbestos.

Then there is a shot of a large burnt out shed being inspected by Government officials.

Narrator: “New South Wales Government experts will check every fire damaged property for asbestos.”

A shot of a Government official in full Personal Protective Equipment including suit, gloves, mask and helmet, picking up a piece of asbestos with a tool and inspecting it before placing it in a sealed bag to be taken for testing.

Then there is a shot of a burnt tree with a burnt-out structure behind it.

Narrator: “Warning: do not enter your property until you have been told it is safe.”

A shot of Government officials inspecting a property with the owners.

Narrator: “For more information – and to register for clean-up, go to service dot N S W dot gov dot au or call 13 77 88.”

There is a title card with the NSW Government logo that reads, “For more information, and to register for clean-up, go to www.service.nsw.gov.au or call 13 77 88”.

Air quality

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.

Medications and prescriptions

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.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

If you're an NDIS participant in a bushfire-affected region, call 1800 800 110 for priority support.

Find somewhere to stay

Bushfire Housing Assistance Service

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.

To access this service:

  • visit Find a housing office 
  • enter your postcode, suburb or town in the search bar
  • select your nearest housing office.

Anglicare

Anglicare provides assistance to communities through emergency housing, homelessness support and food relief.

If you've been affected by a natural disaster call 1800 875 153 or 02 6152 8444.

Find an Anglicare service provider in NSW.

Care for animals

Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline

The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) provides assistance to landholders and communities with animal welfare-related issues.

Contact the Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647 for:

  • emergency fodder (up to 3 days supply)
  • stock water
  • stock assessment
  • stock euthanasia and burial
  • livestock feeding and management advice
  • care of animals in evacuation centres.

RSPCA

For assistance with pets, livestock (including horses), and wildlife: 

WIRES

For advice about assisting injured wildlife, visit WIRES Emergency Advice, or call 1300 094 737.

Replace lost documents

Information on how to replace your important documents. 

Birth, Marriage, Change of Name certificates

You can get one free replacement for each Birth, Marriage or Change of Name certificate that has been destroyed due to a natural disaster.

To request replacement certificates, including certificates registered in other Australian states and territories or in New Zealand, visit your nearest Service NSW Centre or call 13 77 88.

Citizenship documents

Passport

If your passport has been lost, damaged or destroyed in a declared natural disaster, you may be eligible for a free replacement. You do not need to complete an application form.

To order your replacement passport:

  • call the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232
  • confirm your identity
  • verify that you were in a natural disaster area.

Australian citizenship certificate

Your certificate can be replaced free of charge provided you apply within 18 months of the declared natural disaster.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs.

Election enrolment

If you're temporarily away from your enrolled address due to a natural disaster, you don't need to update your enrolment.

Visit the Australian Electoral Commission's enrolment advice page.

Family law documents

If your divorce order, current orders or other family law documents have been lost or destroyed in the bushfires, you can get a replacement copy at no charge at a family law registry.

For more information visit the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

Fishing licences

If your current recreational fishing licence has been lost or destroyed in the bushfires, it can be replaced at no charge by calling 02 4424 7499 or emailing recfish.licensing@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Medicare card

If your Medicare card has been lost, damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster, you can request a new card to replace your old card by:

Your new card will be sent in 3 to 4 weeks to the address you provide. You can use a digital copy of your Medicare card in the meantime.

Your new card will have the same Medicare number that you had before, but your old card will no longer be valid.

NSW Fair Trading licences, permits and certificates

Free replacement of the following licences, permits or certificates that have been lost, damaged or destroyed during a declared natural disaster:

  • 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
  • tow truck.

To apply for a replacement card:

If you plan to rebuild or repair your home damaged or destroyed by a bushfire:

  • Owner Builder Permits will be issued free of charge
  • all other standard requirements and associated development approvals apply.

For further assistance, visit your nearest Service NSW Centre or call 13 77 88.

SafeWork NSW licences, permits and certificates

Free replacement of the following licences, permits and certificates that have been destroyed or lost during the bushfires: 

  • white card
  • high risk work licence
  • explosives licence
  • asbestos and demolition licence
  • plant registrations
  • traffic control licence.

To arrange a replacement, call 13 10 50.

Vehicle registrations and licences

If your driver licence was lost, damaged or destroyed during a natural disaster, 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.

If you need to replace documents for your vehicle that were lost, damaged or destroyed during a natural disaster, you may be eligible for registration and licensing concessions and refunds.

For more information visit Transport for NSW.

Vessel registrations, boat and PWC licences

Replacement licences and registration certificates that were lost, damaged or destroyed in a natural disaster will be provided free of charge.

    The replacement will be sent to the address shown on the licence or registration if you request the documents either by:

    If you want the documents sent to a different address, you can either:

    Before a PWC licence can be re-issued, you will need to supply:

      Help with insurance claims

      Most policies cover bushfires, but you should contact your insurance provider to check your level of cover as well as waiting periods and exclusions.

      Support

      Get financial support

      Information on financial assistance, such as payments, grants and counselling available to people and businesses impacted by bushfires.

        Disaster relief payments

        For payments available to eligible people in disaster declared areas, call Services Australia on 180 22 66 about:

        Disaster relief grants

        Grants are made available to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed in bushfires (declared natural disasters). 

        Visit a Service NSW Centre or call 13 77 88 for NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants.

        Financial and practical support

        To find out about the financial and practical support being offered by both commercial and non-commercial NGOs, see Support from non-government organisations (NGOs).

          Tax

          The ATO will generally stop sending correspondence to people in areas affected by major disasters and can take other steps to help you sort out your tax affairs once the crisis has passed.

          To find out more:

          Australian Red Cross

          For help, information and resources before, during and after an emergency or disaster, visit the Red Cross

          Financial counselling services

          Financial institutions

          Banks offer help to customers affected by a natural disaster. This could include financial assistance packages, deferred loans, waived fees and grants.

          If you are facing financial difficulty, contact your bank as soon as you can.

          For a list of banks and contact details, visit the Australian Banking Association.

          Long service levy exemption – building and construction

          If you're replacing or repairing buildings destroyed or damaged as a result of the 2019/20 NSW bushfires, you can apply for an exemption from the Long Service levy.

          The exemption applies to the first $1,000,000 (inc GST) spent on repairing or rebuilding a damaged property or building.

          For expenditure of $1,000,000 and above, you'll be required to pay a partial levy.

          Applications must be lodged by 2 March 2023.

          For more information visit Long Service Corporation.

          NSW Government stamp duty relief

          You may be eligible for up to $55,000 from the NSW Government towards the stamp duty (transfer duty) on a replacement property if:

          • you lost your home in the bushfires and
          • you're intending to buy in another location rather than rebuild.

          The stamp duty payable on a property priced at around $1.25 million is approximately $55,000. You must pay any additional stamp duty if the amount payable for the property you purchase is more than the maximum of $55,000 stamp duty relief available.

          For more information visit NSW bushfire transfer duty relief scheme.

          NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA)

          Call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 for:

          • 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.
          • the Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy which pays for the cost of transporting:
            • fodder and/or water to an affected property
            • stock to sale or slaughter
            • stock to/from agistment.

          For more information see:

          Salvation Army

          The Salvation Army works with government agencies and community organisations to provide emotional support and referrals, and financial assistance to individuals and families including:

          • Hardship recovery grant – if you are experiencing ongoing extreme hardship as a result of a bushfire disaster
          • Loss of residence grant – if your primary place of residence (owned or leased) has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable due to bushfires.

          The grants are offered for declared natural disasters, limited to one grant per household, and available to eligible applicants over the age of 18, who:

          • suffered loss from bushfires
          • lived or worked in a bushfire affected area at the time of the fires.

          To apply for a grant, or if you have further questions, call 1300 662 217 or email sal.disasters@salvationarmy.org.au.

          Clearing your property

          Clean-up fact sheets

          Fences

          If your land borders public land and you've had fences damaged or destroyed in the 2019-2020 NSW bushfires, you can apply for funding to help cover the cost of rebuilding boundary fences.

          Up to $5000 per kilometre is available as part of the 'Supporting our neighbours – public land boundary fencing program'. If you’ve already started rebuilding, you can still receive a backdated payment.

          For more information or to apply, visit Local Land Services or call 1300 778 080.

          Get mental health support

          Natural disasters and traumatic events impact much more than just the physical environment. They can have a profound effect on the mental health and well-being of affected communities.

          24/7 telephone services

          There is 24/7 help available on the following numbers:

          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.

          Face-to-face services

          You can access mental health support by contacting your local:

          Free counselling

          The Australian Government provides support for up to 10 free counselling sessions mental health support to individuals, families and emergency services workers affected by a natural disaster. 

          To speak with a social worker, call 180 22 66.

          Online services and resources

          • Beyond Blue: Mental health support available 24/7 via online chat or email. 
          • Black Dog Institute: A free online clinic providing a mental health assessment tool and other support services. 
          • Community Trauma Toolkit: Resources to help adults and children before, during, and after a disaster or traumatic event.
          • Headspace: Free and low cost mental health services for young people aged 12 to 25. 
          • Head to Health: This site can help you find digital mental health and wellbeing resources.
          • Kids Helpline WebChat Counselling: A free, private, confidential webchat counselling service for children and young people aged 5 to 25. Kids can chat from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.
          • Rural Adversity Mental Health Program – Connects people living in regional, rural and remote NSW with local mental health services and resources.
          • Rural Resilience Program – helping build resilience by linking rural communities, families and individuals with the most appropriate services and information.  

          Medicare rebates for treatment services

          If you have been affected by bushfires, you can receive Medicare rebates for up to 10 face-to-face or telehealth mental health treatment services through eligible GPs, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

          You do not need a GP referral, diagnosed mental illness or mental health treatment plan to access these sessions.

          Rebates are available from 17 January 2020 to 31 December 2021.

          Phone and internet access

          Internet service providers are offering mobile phone charge waivers and other assistance.

          Mobile phone charge waivers

          Telstra, Optus and Vodafone offer customers in bushfire-affected areas with unlimited access to emergency service websites at no cost.

          Optus

          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.

          Telstra

          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).

          Vodafone

          Vodafone customers can apply for Vodafone’s hardship assistance and may be eligible for bill waivers, payment extensions and waived cancellation/late fees.

          Call 1300 650 405 for help or more information.

          Transport – refunds, fee waivers, concessions

          Tolls

          The $40 tag security deposit on an E-Toll tag will be waived if your tag has been lost, damaged or destroyed during a natural disaster.

          Number plates

          To reapply for number plates that have been lost or destroyed as a result of a natural disaster, you must provide a completed Number Plate Form – PDF at a Service NSW Centre. If applicable, number plate reissue, remake or hold fees may be waived.

          For more information, visit Transport for NSW.

          Motor vehicle stamp duty and fines

          If your motor vehicle was written off in a declared natural disaster, you may be able to get a refund on any motor vehicle duty paid on a replacement vehicle.

          Revenue NSW may also:

          • 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 in instalments.

          For more information, visit Natural disaster relief – Revenue NSW

          Registration and licences

          Registration and licensing concessions and refunds will be offered to customers if their vehicle/vessel or other relevant documentation has been lost, damaged or destroyed during the NSW bushfires. 

          For more information, see Replace lost documents.

          Destroyed vessels

          If your vessel has been destroyed in a natural disaster, you're entitled to a refund of any remaining funds on the vessel registration.

          If you can, supply a copy of the insurance claim deeming the vessel a total loss, or a statutory declaration with details of the circumstances. If you're not able to supply either of these documents, complete the Request for Refund (Maritime) – PDF.

          Note: Attach a photo of the destroyed vessel (if possible). In the space under 'Other Maritime Refunds', clearly state that the vessel was destroyed by a natural disaster and include the address where the vessel was destroyed, if it is not your normal address.

          Rebuilding

          If you're planning to rebuild on land that is designated as bushfire prone you have a legal obligation to consider the potential of bushfire and meet the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection (PBP) and AS3959.

          The NSW Rural Fire Service provides guides on:

          • the planning and development process
          • building after bushfire:
            • your level of risk
            • development application and complying development
            • protection measures.
          Last updated: 22 March 2022