Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses

Find out when you can return

Stay updated

For the latest NSW bushfires information, you can:

Emergency services

To report an unattended fire or emergency, call:

Traffic, road closures and public transport 

Bushfire registration

If you've been impacted by the fires, register with Register. Find. Reunite. This Red Cross service finds and reunites family and friends after an emergency.

Look after your health and stay safe

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. You can also visit NDIS Latest news to find out where Services Australia's Mobile Service Teams are being deployed on a given day.

Get financial support

Information on the financial assistance, such as payments, grants and counselling, that are available to those impacted by bushfires.

Disaster relief payments

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.

Support for New Zealanders:

  • Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment – a one-off payment of $1,000 per adult, $1,000 per partner or dependent adult and $400 for each child younger than 16. For New Zealanders who have been significantly affected by the bushfires. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience.
  • Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance – short-term income assistance (up to 13 weeks) for New Zealanders who can show they lost income as a direct result of the bushfires.

NSW Government stamp duty relief

If you lost your home in the bushfires and you're intending to buy in another location rather than rebuild, the NSW Government is offering up to $55,000 towards the stamp duty on the replacement property.

The stamp duty relief is aimed at providing people with an option to get back on their feet and into their own home faster.

For more information visit NSW bushfire transfer duty relief scheme.

Note: $55,000 would be the approximate stamp duty payable on a property priced at around $1.25 million. Any amount above the $55,000 would be payable by the purchaser.

Financial institutions

Various banks are providing help for bushfire-affected individuals through a range of financial assistance packages, deferred loans, waived fees and charges, grants and relief. Contact your bank's helpline for more information on the options available to you.

Financial counselling services

Indigenous Business Australia

IBA has established a bushfire crisis fund to assist their business finance and home loan customers.

If you've been directly impacted by the current bushfires through the loss of property or compulsory evacuation, the fund will provide the following support:

  • temporary suspension of loan repayments
  • access to a $2000 bushfire crisis grant to cover immediate needs
  • assistance with making insurance claims.

Further assistance for business customers will be assessed on an individual basis.

If you need assistance, call IBA on 1800 064 800.

Transport – refunds, fee waivers, concessions

Tolls

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.

Number plates

For number plates lost or destroyed as a result of the bushfires, customers must provide a completed Number Plate Form – PDF at a Service NSW 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.

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 in instalments.

More information can be found on the Revenue NSW website.

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 the bushfires 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:

  1. Complete the Request for Refund (Maritime) – PDF.
  2. In the space under 'Other Maritime Refunds':
    • clearly state that the vessel was destroyed by the bushfires, and
    • include the address where the vessel was destroyed, if it is not your normal address.
  3. Attach a photo of the destroyed vessel (if possible).
  4. Email or mail your request to the details on the form.

Telco support

Telcos are offering mobile phone charge waivers and other assistance. 

Mobile phone charge waivers

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:

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).

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.

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.

Utility services

Damaged service connections

If gas, electricity or water is disconnected, it's your responsibility to have the services checked and reconnected by a licensed trade person. Do not attempt to reconnect the service yourself.

Power outages

Contact your energy provider. They own and maintain the local network and are best placed to advise on outages and when services may be restored.

Telephone and internet services

Water

Clearing your property

The NSW Government and the Commonwealth are covering the full cost of cleaning up eligible NSW properties that have been destroyed by bushfires since 1 July 2019. This includes both insured and uninsured properties.

Laing O’Rourke Australia has been appointed to lead the clean-up and they'll be engaging qualified local contractors and suppliers.

If you're a contractor based in a bushfire-affected area and you're able to provide clean-up related goods and/or services, see Register your interest to assist in the bushfire clean-up.

If you'd like help with the cleaning up of your property, see Register to opt in to the NSW bushfire clean-up.

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

Only licensed builders, tradespeople and contractors should be engaged to undertake remediation work associated with:

  • asbestos contamination
  • demolition of structures
  • specialist rebuilding and fit-out work such as:
    • electrical wiring
    • plumbing
    • drainage
    • gasfitting
    • air conditioning
    • refrigeration (except plug-in appliances). 

To check a builder, tradesperson or related licence, see Check a builder or tradesperson licence.

Clean-up fact sheets

Fences 

If your land borders public land and you've had fences damaged or destroyed in the 2019/20 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

If you live in a bushfire-affected region, or were a first responder, emergency management employee or volunteer, you can access up to 10 free counselling sessions to support you through any immediate trauma or crisis. You can organise counselling sessions at:

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.

Grants

Primary Health Networks (PNH) in bushfire-affected regions are providing grants of up to $10,000 to strengthen social connectedness and peer support activities. Please contact your local PHN to discuss a bushfire recovery event.

WayAhead mental health services directory

The WayAhead Services Directory lists mental health and social service providers operating in your local area.

Enter your postcode at the WayAhead website to find services near you.

Help others in your community

BlazeAid

BlazeAid helps clear, repair or replace fences that have been damaged or destroyed in natural disasters such as bushfires.

Find out how you can volunteer with BlazeAid.

Dress for Success

Dress for Success is sending out bushfire relief packages to women who are in need of clothing for work.

To find out how to offer your time as a volunteer, visit Dress for Success volunteer

NSW Rural Fire Service

NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) accepts volunteers in a range of roles including:

  • firefighting
  • administration
  • communications
  • catering
  • community education
  • community engagement
  • training
  • operational logistics support
  • welfare support
  • equipment maintenance
  • youth development.

Find out how you can volunteer with the NSW RFS.

Rebuild Together

Rebuild Together connects people willing to volunteer their time and skills including:

  • trades
  • healthcare
  • cleaning
  • legal
  • administration
  • transportation
  • general help.