The impact of the Black Summer bushfires is an ongoing challenge for many of our communities and their businesses. If you or someone you know needs assistance there are many organsiations that can help you.
Kids Helpline online or 1800 55 1800 counselling services specifically for you people aged 5-25 years old.
Recovery Assistance and Support - Government
The Australian and State Governments has extended support for people directly affected by bushfires in disaster declared areas. Click to go to Services Australia and Disaster Assist for more information for individuals and organisations to:
Check for information relevant to your location
Understand who is eligible
How to make a claim.
Disaster Recovery Allowance (DFA)
Support for people who can show they have lost income as a direct result of the bushfires in the area. It is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income.
You can get it for a maximum of 13 weeks. It’s payable from the date you lose income as a direct result of the Bushfires.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
A one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience. You need to have been adversely affected by the fire. For example:
You have been seriously injured
You are the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died
Your principal place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
The interior of your principal place of residence has sustained major damage
Damage from the fire has exposed the interior of your principal place of residence to the elements
Your principal place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
The interior of your residence has been affected by sewerage contamination
You are the principal carer of a dependent child who has experienced any of the above.
Emergency Bushfire Response in Primary Industries Grants Program
The federal government has announced it would provide up to $75,000 in grants for farming (including forestry) businesses in fire-affected regions, with the funding administered by each state government.
This assistance will be provided through a joint Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement between states and territories and the Commonwealth Government.
Further details will be announced as soon as state-based delivery arrangements are confirmed.
This initiative forms part of $2 billion commitment the Morrison Government has made to address the impact of the bushfires.
Bush fire affected families and businesses can now access all available assistance being offered by local councils, the State Government and Federal Government, through the NSW Government’s new Bush fire Customer Care program.
To connect with a Customer Care specialist call Service NSW between 7 am and 7 Pm on 13 77 88. The Contact Centre hours have been extended to include weekends while communities recover.
Information about the Customer Care service is also available in Service NSW Centres, NSW Recovery Centres and Mobile Service Centres in affected regions.
The Australian Tax office has extended a package of tax assistance for people impacted by the recent bushfires in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania as part of the whole-of-government response to the disaster.
This tax assistance currently applies to multiple local government areas in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania. A complete list is available on the ATO Website.
For those taxpayers in affected areas with a tax debt or outstanding obligation, the ATO will not initiate debt recovery action until at least 28 May 2020. Taxpayers can also request payment arrangements for outstanding debts. The ATO will also consider releasing individuals and businesses from income tax and fringe benefits tax debts if they are experiencing serious hardship.
Additionally, the ATO is fast-tracking any refunds that are due to taxpayers in the impacted regions.
The ATO will also be remitting any interest and penalties applied to tax debts since the commencement of the bushfires that have been applied to accounts of individuals and businesses located in impacted regions.
For people who have had documents destroyed by the bushfires, the ATO is able to assist by reissuing documents it has on hand.
Affected taxpayers are also able to vary their income tax instalments to nil without penalties. This also applies if taxpayers end up in a tax payable situation for that quarter once they have lodged their tax return.
The ATO recognises the ongoing effects of this disaster, such as cash flow problems for business owners who have suffered reduced trade. This includes businesses that are not located in the identified regions.
Employers are reminded that they still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees. Automatic deferrals do not apply to large pay-as-you-go withholders however, large withholders can contact the ATO for assistance with their tax obligations if required.