Community Recovery

Bushfire Recovery Information and Support

In December 2018 and January 2019 dry lightning strikes ignited a significant number of bushfires across Tasmania which have threatened communities, created major disruption, and caused considerable damage across many remote wilderness areas.

Over 205,000 hectares of land has been affected by the bushfires, with multiple fires continuing to burn.

The bushfires are having a widespread effect on the State and will cause emotional, physical and financial stress for members of our community. The most heavily impacted Local Government Areas are Huon Valley, West Coast and Central Highlands.

While firefighting efforts to protect property and business have been largely successful, people in these areas have been displaced from their homes and communities due to fire and smoke.

The Tasmanian Government will continue to work with individuals, community groups, local government and the Australian Government to ensure the needs of affected communities are met as they address the social, economic, infrastructure and environmental impacts of this natural disaster.

Tasmanian’s impacted by the current bushfires are invited to information and support sessions being delivered by the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce, in collaboration with the Central Highlands and Huon Valley Councils.

Information about the recovery hub and other recovery support is now available via the TasRECOVERY website and social media – the Tasmanian Government’s official recovery information sources:

www.facebook.com/tasrecovery

www.tasalert.com/recover

www.twitter.com/tasrecovery

Or contact the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce on 1800 567 567 or email recovery@dpac.tas.gov.au

Recovery Hub Locations

The Bushfire Recovery Information and Support Hubs in Geeveston, Dover and Huonville have now closed, but advice and support is still available in your local area.

If you’ve been affected by the 2019 bushfires and need general advice or support services to assist you through the recovery process, please drop in to see Bushfire Recovery Taskforce’s Community Outreach Officer Michael Tucker at the following locations*:

MONDAYS: 9–5pm Huonville Community Health Centre (7-9 Sale Street, Huonville)
TUESDAYS: 1–4 pm Southgate Shopping Centre, Dover (1 Station Road, Dover)
WEDNESDAYS: 1–4pm Huonville Library (1 Skinner Drive, Huonville)
THURSDAYS: 12–4 pm Geeveston Community Centre (GeCo) (9B School Road, Geeveston)
FRIDAYS: 9–5pm Huonville Community Health Centre (7-9 Sale Street, Huonville)

*no appointments needed!

Support for Bushfire Affected Businesses

The Tasmanian Government has announced new grant programs to support local businesses affected by bushfires.

Bushfire Business Disruption Grants – Applications Close 22 March 2019

Small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in the Huon Valley, Central Highlands, West Coast, and Derwent Valley areas have been hard hit by the recent fires. They can now apply for Bushfire Small Business Disruption Grants of up to $2,000 where they have experienced a significant disruption to their business as a result of the recent bushfire.

This assistance will help businesses with under 20 staff, cover bills and immediate operating costs stresses being felt due to the downturn in trading.

Guidelines and application information on the Bushfire Small Business Disruption Grant are available at www.business.tas.gov.au/bushfirerecovery.

Businesses requiring further advice or assistance on this program can also contact Business Tasmanian on 1800 440 026.

Bushfire Business Recovery Grants – Applications Close 31 March 2019

The Bushfire Business Disruption Grant provides funding to support eligible Tasmanian businesses who have experienced significant disruption to the day-to-day running of their business for a period of two consecutive days or more as a result of the recent bushfires

This grant can assist to cover immediate operating costs stresses being felt due to the downturn in trading.

Up to $2000 is available for each eligible small business to assist in business recovery.

The Bushfire Business Disruption Grant is jointly funded by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Applications close 22 March 2019. Guidelines and application information on the Bushfire Business Disruption Grant are available at www.business.tas.gov.au/bushfirerecovery.

Businesses requiring further advice or assistance on this program can also contact Business Tasmanian on 1800 440 026.

Concessional Business Recovery Loan Scheme – Applications close 30 April 2019

The Concessional Business Recovery Loan Scheme is funded by the Tasmanian Government.

The loan scheme will assist businesses to re-establish after being directly impacted by the bushfires.

Up to $100 000 each will be available to small business owners or farm businesses on an unsecured basis will be available over a maximum term of five years.

Applications close 30 April 2019. Guidelines and application information on the Concessional Business Recovery Loan Scheme are available at www.business.tas.gov.au/bushfirerecovery.

 

Support for Private Forest Owners

Private Forests Tasmania can facilitate private forest owners effected by bushfire to access information and expertise.  Please contact PFT for assistance admin@pft.tas.gov.au (www.pft.tas.gov.au) Tel: (03) 6165 4073

Please contact the Forest Practices Authority, info@fpa.tas.gov.au (www.fpa.tas.gov.au) Tel: (03) 6165 4073 if you are considering conducting forest practices in response to the bushfires, to ensure you operate within the Tasmanian Forest Practices Code, receive any relevant guidance from the FPA, and avoid potential fines.

Bushfire Business Disruption Grant.  Additional details, including guidelines, further contact details and submission details, can be found here: https://www.business.tas.gov.au/

Government announcements regarding bushfire effected businesses can be found on the Private Forests Tasmania website www.pft.tas.gov.au

Support for Primary Producers

Are you a primary producer returning home after the bushfires?

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) AgriGrowth Division would like to hear from you.
Any information you can provide about the impacts of the fires on your stock, produce or infrastructure will help understand assess the impacts of the fires on the agricultural industry.

Please contact DPIPWE’s AgriGrowth Liaison Officers on 6777 2233 or email Agrigrowth@dpipwe.tas.gov.au.

Freight subsidies

Primary Producers may also be eligible for a freight sibsidy.  Freight subsidies are available to assist primary producers impacted byt he recent fires with the transport of livestock, fodder, water, equipment and materials directly associated with their business of primary production.

Contact AgriGrowth Tasmania on 03 6777 2233 or visit Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website for more information, including guidelines and claim forms.

The subsidies are being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Financial Support

A range of financial assistance measures have been activated to support individuals, families, employees, sole traders, farmers and primary producers with their recovery from the bushfires.

The assistance includes:

 

2019 Disaster Recovery Allowance

Disaster Recovery Allowance 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 Tasmanian Bushfires, February 2019.

The maximum payment rate is the equivalent of Newstart or Youth Allowance, based on your circumstances. Your rate of payment will be affected by your income prior to and following the disaster.

To claim call Centrelink on 180 22 66 and lodge your claim over the telephone or visit  https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/tasmanian-bushfires-february-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance

 

Recovery and Restoration Grants

Three Recovery and Restoration Grants are available to assist in meeting the longer term needs of people who have lost their homes or incurred property damage as a direct result of the bushfires.

The Recovery and Restoration Grants are targeted at individuals most in need who are unable to provide for their own recovery. Eligibility criteria is applied so that low-income households with no or inadequate insurance can be assisted. Assistance of up to $9,200 is available to cover eligible costs not recoverable by insurance. The three grants are:

1. Temporary Living Expenses Grant

This grant is to help meet the cost of additional temporary living expenses where the principal place of residence is uninhabitable and costs cannot be met by the applicant’s own resources. Grants are made available to renters and owner / occupiers on the basis of need. Assistance of up to $9,200 is available over a maximum period of six months, based on an individual family’s needs assessment. Funding can be applied to any accommodation or travel-related expense.

2. Replacement of Household Items Grant

This grant is to assist with the replacement of essential household items damaged or destroyed in an eligible natural disaster. Grants are made available to renters and owner / occupiers on the basis of need. Assistance of up to $6,000 is available (plus $1,000 per household member up to $9,200) net of any insurance.

3. Repair and Restoration Grant

This grant is to assist with the re-establishment of a principal place of residence to a basic, minimum standard to allow it to be inhabited. The grant is not designed to assist with returning the property to its full pre-disaster condition. Grants are made available to owner / occupiers on the basis of need. Renters are not eligible for this grant.

For applicants who are unable to repair/rebuild properties, these grants may be used to assist with other clean up and re-establishment costs.

Applying for a Recovery and Restoration Grant

Affected individuals can apply for a Recovery and Restoration Grant by phoning the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce on 1800 567 567. These grants will be available for three months after impact.

 

Disaster Recovery Allowance

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is the latest measure made available by the Commonwealth Government to assist Tasmanians who have suffered financial loss as a direct result of the bushfires.

The Allowance will provide short-term income support to assist employees, sole traders and farmers who can demonstrate that the bushfires have affected their income, and will be payable for up to thirteen weeks from the date of impact.

The Allowance is being made available in addition to the financial support already being provided to Tasmanians under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). This includes Emergency Assistance Grants, Recovery and Restoration Grants and Freight Subsidies.

To lodge a claim for the Disaster Recovery Allowance contact the Department of Human Services on 180 22 66 or visit the website.

Personal Support and Advice

The Bushfire Recovery Information and Support Hubs in Geeveston, Dover and Huonville have now closed, but advice and support is still available in your local area.

If you’ve been affected by the 2019 bushfires and need general advice or support services to assist you through the recovery process, please drop in to see Bushfire Recovery Taskforce’s Community Outreach Officer Michael Tucker at the following locations*

MONDAYS: 9–5pm Huonville Community Health Centre (7-9 Sale Street, Huonville)
TUESDAYS: 1–4 pm Southgate Shopping Centre, Dover (1 Station Road, Dover)
WEDNESDAYS: 1–4pm Huonville Library (1 Skinner Drive, Huonville)
THURSDAYS: 12–4 pm Geeveston Community Centre (GeCo) (9B School Road, Geeveston)
FRIDAYS: 9–5pm Huonville Community Health Centre (7-9 Sale Street, Huonville)
*no appointments needed!

SOCIAL WORK SERVICES – for general advice and/or support to help guide you through the next steps of recovery, contact Michael Tucker on 0456 628 986 or email michael.tucker@ths.tas.gov.au or call the Huonville Community Health Centre on 6121 7050.

 

 

About the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce

The Tasmanian Government has established a Bushfire Recovery Taskforce to coordinate and oversee the medium and long-term recovery from the current bushfires. The rebuilding, recovery and strengthening of communities affected by the bushfires will be locally and community driven. The job of the Taskforce is to support impacted councils at a local level and to oversee recovery arrangements at the state level.

Mr Michael Stevens has been appointed as the Recovery Coordinator and will lead the Taskforce. Mr Stevens was a senior public servant with extensive experience across a number of portfolios prior to his retirement, and acted in this same role as part of the 2013 Bushfire Recovery Taskforce.

Contact

You can contact the Bushfire Recovery Taskforce or get more information at: