2019-20 Australian bushfires

This section includes disaster relief packages and emergency support offered by TCP partners, and other services, to support those impacted by the 2019-20 Australian bushfires.

If your organisation has developed a bushfire response that you would like to include on this page, please send through the details to contact@thriving.org.au

Bushfire Resources 

Financial and Legal Assistance

ACOSS - Getting Help, Helping or Getting Prepared during the 2019/2020 Bushfire Emergency. disaster recovery payments 

ASIC Moneysmart has information on what to do after a natural disaster for those impacted and businesses affected by the bushfires may be able to apply for relief from company fees. Click for details on MoneysmartBushfire Relief

AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS Emergency Grants supporting people who have lost their homes since July 2019 with $20K grants Information Sheet Financial Assistance NSW & ACT 

DISASTER LEGAL HELP VICTORIA - Fact Sheets that covers legal issues commonly experienced in the aftermath of disaster. Read More

FINANCIAL COUNSELLING VICTORIA (Formally FCRC) Financial relief for Victorians affected by bushfires  financial assistance, Emergency Relief Assistance Payments, Disaster Recovery Payments and Allowances from Government services. The Victorian bushfire case support program is accessed through 1800 560 760. This is run by Windermere and is used for intake and referral to case managers and case supports providing access to a range of community and health services and financial counselling. Read More

FINANCIAL RIGHTS LEGAL CENTRE – Legal Advice Operates a national insurance law service providing free legal advice and advocacy for people in financial stress. Call the Insurance Law Service on 1300 663 464 or send them an enquiry via their website Read More

GOVERNMENT - Grants for bushfire relief The Funding Centre lists Federal and State Government grants and links to the corresponding government website. It also list some other corporate and community grants. Read More

MOB STRONG DEBT HELP LINE - Debt Help A free legal advice service about money matters for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It’s a free call: 1800 808 488.

NATIONAL DEBT HELPLINE - Helpline A not-for-profit financial counselling service that helps people tackle their debt problems, including those relating to disasters. It is a free, independent and confidential service. Call 1800 007 007 to speak to a financial counsellor. Read More

SERVICE NSW (NSW)  - Asistance packages Information and links for people who have been impacted by bushfires and need immediate help. Read More

UNITING - Financial counselling service provision and availability to clients seeking assistance in South Australia. Contact 1800 615 677 (option 3)

UNSW TAX CLINIC - UNSW Tax Clinic provides free, independent and confidential tax advice and support. They have outreach locations across Sydney and also offer phone appointments depending on your circumstances and location. Read More or make an appointment here

VCOSS (VIC)VIC Resource List financial, legal, accommodation and other resources for those in fire affected areas. Read More

WESTJUSTICE - Legal advice Insurance, credit/debt and mortgage issues over the phone or in person depending on the particular matter and the location of the potential client. Read More.

Financial Services

AFCA - Online Bushfire Support Hub established a dedicated online bushfire support information hub for individual and small businesses impacted by the ongoing 2019-20 Australian bushfires. Read More

AMP -  Free Financial Advice Offer free financial advice to anyone who needs this help (they don’t need to be an AMP customer). Read More

ANZ$1 million for bushfire relief package Customers impacted can contact a dedicated hotline on 1800 149 549. ANZ insurance customers can call 13 16 14. Read More

CATHOLIC SUPER - Financial Advice for any members who have been directly impacted they offer free financial advice from fully qualified planners, and support with financial hardship and compassionate grounds claims. Call them on 1300 655 002 between 8.30 am and 6:00 pm EST/EDT Monday to Friday, or email at info@csf.com.au. Read More

COMMONWEALTH BANK - Assistance includes customised payment arrangements for loans and credit cards. Temporary overdrafts, additional loans or emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval). Waiving fees and charges. Other individual support options may also be available, including cash grants. More info: www.commbank.com.au/bushfirerecovery Individuals phone: 1300 720 814. Business phone: 13 26 07 Read More 

CUA - Disaster Relief Package  Available to communities, volunteer firefighters or members with immediate financial needs relating to unexpected expenses or being unable to reach their place of work. CUA has also donated $175,000 to rural fire services and the Red Cross. Read More

GOOD SHEPHERD - Good Shepherd has developed a No Interest Loans (NILS) Bushfire Relief Policy to support people in bushfire-affected areas.  New and existing clients may be eligible for larger loans with longer repayment terms. Read More

IAG - Bushfire Response Customer Service a range of services available to customers affected by the 2019-20 Australian bushfires. Read More

MY LIFE MY FINANCE - Financial Assistance through their financial relief package, the early release of term deposit funds, repayment breaks or temporary interest rate relief. Call them on 03 9629 4484 between 8.30 am and 4:30 pm EST/EDT Monday to Friday, or email at info@mylifemyfinance.com.au. Read More

NAB $5 million disaster relief package NAB customers who have lost homes this bushfire season can immediately access $2,000. NAB Assist team on the dedicated number 1300 683 106. Read More

SPECKLE - Payment Plans Speckle can help customers to restructure payments and where appropriate reduce fees. Customer contact 13 43 23. Read More

SUNCORP - Insurance and Banking Support Suncorp has a page that aggregates information, announcements and support for all of their brands Read More

WESTPAC - Bushfire Recovery Support Package - The Package provides support for individuals, small business owners, farming businesses, and our employees, as well as initiatives for the broader community.  Read More

Housing Support and Location Services

AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS - Register, Find, Reunite Red Cross service that registers, finds and reunites family, friends and loved ones after an emergency. Read More

DEPARTMENT OF FAMILY SERVICES (NSW) - Bushfire Housing Assistance Service Contact Disaster Welfare Assistance Line (DWAL) on 1800 018 444, or contact or visit your local Department of Communities and Justice Housing office. Read More

INFOXCHANGE (VIC) - Bushfire support category on Ask Izzy Lists evacuation centres, state-based emergency information and provides an opportunity for people to send in updates about affected services. Read More

UNITING South Australia (SA) Free Short Term Recovery Accommodation Anyone who requires more information or a referral can contact their local disaster relief centre via Disaster Recovery website

Telecommunications and Internet

ACCAN - Assistance packages List of assistance packages available from the major Telecommunication providers for consumers. Read More

TELSTRA Australian bushfire support Providing assistance packages for customers affected by the bushfires and picking up the bill for firefighting heroes. Click for details on Customers Facing HardshipDisaster Relief Discovery, Free Payphones/HotspotsNSW Bushfire ReliefFree Calls for FiriesVIC Bushfire Assistance

Transport

TRANSURBAN (operator of Linkt toll roads) Customer Assistance Dedicated support has been made available for customers in bushfire-affected areas through Transurban’s Linkt Assist program. If anyone is experiencing financial hardship as a result of the bushfires, they can call Linkt Assist on 1300 767 865 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm AEST. We have also extended our Linkt Assist hardship program to businesses impacted by the bushfires. Read more.

Trauma and Mental Health Support

APM Assure - Free Counselling APM Assure Community Support Line is available at no cost to anyone in the community. Call 1800 276 113 or please share this service with anyone you know who may need assistance. Read More

LIFELINE SUPPORT (UNITING) - Lifeline capacity extended in South Australia. Contact 131114 

WIRE - Trauma Support telephone, email, face- to face and webchat support to any women and gender diverse non binary person in Victoria on any issue. They provide support, information and referrals using a gender and trauma informed response. Their telephone support line is available 9 – 5 pm Monday to Friday on 1300134130, the Walk in Centre is open 9.30 – 4.30 Monday to Friday and is located just a 6 minutes’ walk from Southern Cross Station at 372 Spencer Street West Melbourne. Read More 

Utilities

ACTEWAGL - A range of support is available for bushfire affected customers now, through and beyond the recovery process. ActewAGL is encouraging anyone affected get in touch to discuss available immediate support options, such as payment plans and extensions, as well as their Staying Connected hardship program. Contact via 13 14 93. Read More

AGL  A range of support available  AGL are encouraging all our customers who have been impacted and need help with their account to please call them on 131 245 or contact them here. They are offering a range of support and assistance for firefighters and SES volunteers, customers, employees and contractors. Read More Southern Phone waives January usage and fee charges for fire-affected customers, firefighters and SES volunteers Read More

AUSTRALIAN GAS INFRASTRUCTURE GROUP (AGIG) - Gas safety and bushfire information:  Multinet Gas Networks (MGN) Read More or Australian Gas Networks (AGN) Read More. If you’re in SA or Vic and unsure which network you’re in, you can find out by typing in your postcode under “is gas available?” here

ENERGYAUSTRALIA Support for residential and small business customers Providing priority assistance to customers who have lost their homes or have been evacuated. Customers can reach EnergyAustralia on 1800 120 084 or through a direct message via Facebook and TwitterRead More

ESSENTIAL ENERGY - Power outages updates NSW bushfires have caused significant damage to the Essential Energy network. Click for up to date information about power outages Read More

EWON - Customer Assistance Prioritising enquires and complaints related to the NSW bushfires, with a webpage listing support available for residential and small business customers affected by bushfires. Read More.

EWOSA - Customer Assistance Helping South Australians who are affected by bushfires. Read More

EWOVProviding access to agencies via a priority line. To allow agencies to have a greater focus on their client’s other needs EWOV are providing access to agencies via a priority line. Read More

MOMENTUM ENERGY – Short and longer term energy bill assistance for bushfire-impacted customers, tailored to individual circumstances. Customers can call 1300 662 778 (8am–6pm weekdays) or email info@momentum.com.au. Read more.

ORIGIN - Short and longer-term assistance Available to customers in bushfire and drought-affected areas. Read More

POWERSHOP - Powershop customers impacted by the bush fires have a range of support options available. Read More. Customers can reach out to Powershop on 1800 462 668 or contact here when they’re ready to discuss the options we can provide to help through these tough times. Powershop customers who are volunteer firefighters or volunteer SES personnel can also get access to an account credit.  

SA WATER -  A range of support options are available to help customers and property owners as they focus on their recovery efforts. Support includes bill payment extensions and account adjustments so customers are not charged for water used to prepare and defend properties or water lost through leaks in pipes damaged by bushfires. Customers with queries about their bills, or who need additional support, can call SA Water on 1300 SA WATER (1300 729 283). Visit their website 

SYDNEY WATERFinancial Assistance Everyone needs essential water services, but Sydney Water know that unforeseen events, such as bushfires, may make it hard for customers to pay their bills.  Whether their property has been impacted by the fires or they have experienced a reduction in their normal income, Sydney Water have ways to help including financial assistance, flexible payment arrangements and referrals to other support services. Any customer experiencing payment difficulties should contact Sydney Water on 13 20 92 weekdays from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm or visit their website

VICTORIAN WATER AUTHORITIES - Emergency Water Relief South East Water is coordinating an emergency drinking water relief program on behalf of all Victorian water authorities. Eligible permanent residents initially in the declared bushfire affected areas of East Gippsland and some parts of the Wellington Shire will be provided a tank water flush and top-up of 5,000 litres. If you live in the area and are seeking emergency water assistance, South East Water is your best contact – please call 13 18 51 and press 9. Read More 

Where you can donate

AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS - Disaster Relief & Recovery Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery to support Red Cross rovide practical support where it's needed. Fund Raising Information Sheet

GERF - Relief Fund Registered charity established to provide immediate short-term funds to Gippslanders affected by natural disaster events. Read More

UNITINGVic.Tas 2020 Bushfire Appeal  Funds to buy urgently-needed goods and services to help communities recover. Read More

Practitioner Resources

AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF DISASTER RESILIENCE - Ten resources for practitioners Supporting bushfire recovery in Australia. Read More

CENTRE FOR INCLUSIVE DESIGN -  Simple resource guide to communicate inclusively in times of emergencies Read More 

SCOPE - Scope’s Accessible Information consultants have over 15 years’ experience in making written information accessible to people with low English literacy, including people with intellectual disability and CALD backgrounds. Their experienced team of speech therapists, writers and designers create documents in Easy English and plain language, as well as delivering training and consulting on how to produce your own. For more information visit their website or call them on 1300 472 673. Watch the Key Word Sign Bush Fire Crisis Resources Video, Download Easy English Disaster Resources here

 

Last updated 3:49pm 6 February 2020

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