Bushfire Recovery News and Updates

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Our bushfire recovery page was created to support those in the Orara Valley, and other communities within our local government area, as they recover from the November 2019 bushfires.


There is a range of assistance available for local households, businesses, industries and landholders.

Coffs Harbour City Council is working in collaboration with the emergency services, State and Federal government agencies, charities and others to deliver this assistance.

Service NSW Bushfire Customer Care Service

For people impacted by bushfire, the NSW Bushfire Customer Care Service will help you navigate the support and financial assistance that's available across all levels of government

Our bushfire recovery page was created to support those in the Orara Valley, and other communities within our local government area, as they recover from the November 2019 bushfires.


There is a range of assistance available for local households, businesses, industries and landholders.

Coffs Harbour City Council is working in collaboration with the emergency services, State and Federal government agencies, charities and others to deliver this assistance.

Service NSW Bushfire Customer Care Service

For people impacted by bushfire, the NSW Bushfire Customer Care Service will help you navigate the support and financial assistance that's available across all levels of government.

Service NSW provides one-on-one support for people and businesses.

They can help with:

  • Accommodation advice
  • Relevant charitable services
  • Mental health and wellbeing services
  • Support for businesses
  • Clean-up services
  • Financial assistance
  • Grants and rebates
  • Insurance and legal support
  • Replacing lost ID
  • Volunteer RFS and SES payments.

Call 13 77 88 or visit the Service NSW website to register for a callback.

Community Consultation

This page will be used periodically for community consultation to learn what ideas our community may have for recovery and to find ways to improve disaster management in future events.

As of April 2020, Council has undertaken a series of community consultations with Orara Valley
residents and the broader community to inform the development of the proposed Program of Works for recovery including:

  • Community meetings at Nana Glen Community Hall on 28 January 2020 and 11 March 2020
  • A ‘Have Your Say’ survey on this page which received 42 responses
  • Telephone and in-person interviews with Nana Glen residents and Orara Valley businesses

Feedback has also been consolidated by the Acting Community Recovery Officer and from the community-led Orara Valley Bushfire Recovery Working Group

Additionally, Council has consulted internally and with the NSW Rural Fire Service.

'Sign Up' on this page to stay informed on further opportunities for consultation as well as community recovery updates.

  • Hotspots Fire Project - Workshop Two

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Day two of the Hotspots Fire Project Orara Valley Workshop was attended by rural landholders from the Nana Glen area, representatives from the Nana Glen Bush Fire Brigade and a range of State and Local Government staff with an interest in sustainable fire management.

    Landholders discussed aspects of their completed property fire management plans which they prepared during day one and undertook a risk assessment exercise similar to that conducted by fire management agencies. Later in the day, objectives of a burn were discussed including the planning and notification requirements. Unfortunately, due to recent rain, the conditions were unsuitable to demonstrate the burn however, safeguards to minimise the impacts of a prescribed burn were demonstrated including using a rake hoe to rake back from around trees, logs or built assets. Other activities included measuring the Overall Fuel Hazard Load, how to apply for a Hazard Reduction Certificate and how to calculate the Forest Fire Danger Index.

    Glen Locke, Deputy Captain of Nana Glen Rural Fire Service brigade demonstrated the equipment carried on a Category 7 Fire Tanker and how to set up a small fighting pump, hose, fittings and nozzles to utilise available water sources during a wildfire.

    The group reflected on the events of 2019, when the area was impacted by the Liberation Fire Trail Fire, its impact on the community and recovery since and into the future.

    For more information on the Hotspots Fire Project please go to: http://hotspotsfireproject.org.au/

  • Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022, Finalist in the Local Government Professionals Awards

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Council’s Bushfire Recovery Action Plan 2020-2022 was recently chosen as a finalist with stiff competition in the ‘Disaster Recovery/Emergency Response Management – Population Under 100,000’ Award.

    The Plan focuses on a community-led approach that builds on initiatives supported by all levels of government, the community and non-government agencies. I’d like to thank the community for their invaluable input and positive participation in the community engagement and collaboration that informed the Plan. Recovery activities have been generously supported by local residents, the local RFS, Cricket Club, businesses, OVPA, HeartStart, BlazeAid, the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Life House Anglicare and BackTrack. Also providing vital collaboration and assistance were Resilience NSW, Health NSW, Service NSW, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program and the Department of Primary Industries.

    To view the plan go to the Bushfire Community Recovery Documents and Resources section on the left of this page.

  • Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund - Phase Two Stream 2

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Coffs Harbour City Council was successful in obtaining a grant of $145,000 for a series of recovery and resilience projects through the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF) Phase Two - Stream 2. Funding for BCRRF is provided through the joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

    Phase Two of the BCRRF supports community recovery by funding projects that promote community well-being, social and broader recovery and future disaster resilience.

    Council has partnered with Bellingen Shire Council and the Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) to work with Resilience NSW to ensure the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen local emergency area is able to align with a broader regional strategic approach. Community based projects resulted from community engagement between residents, local groups and Council's Community Recovery Officer. Please see project list below.


    This program of activities continues to promote community well-being; support the social and broader recovery of the community and; promote future disaster resilience in the local government area and local emergency management area.

    These projects are in partnership with Bellingen Shire Council; Local Emergency Management Committee; Nana Glen Landcare Group; New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) - Mid North Coast Team and; the Hotspots Fire Project.

    • Project 1: Recruitment of part-time Project Support Officer to support the coordination, engagement and implementation of the BCRRF programs and Council's ongoing Bushfire Recovery Program
    • Project 2: Partner with Bellingen Shire Council and the LEMC to conduct a renewed Risk Assessment of the Local Emergency Management Plan
    • Project 3: Partner with Nana Glen Landcare Group to support environmental recovery and restoration of the Coldwater Creek Travelling Stock Reserve including informative flora and fauna signage and creation of digital content of cultural history of place including first nation people and the Liberation Trail bushfire event
    • Project 4: Partner with RFS - Mid North Coast team to create a second digital resource around the RFS Bushfire Survival Plan - Decide to Stay
    • Project 5: Partner with Hotspots Fire Project to support workshops and Cafe Sessions
    • Project 6: Partner with Bellingen Shire Council and Resilience NSW to support the creation of Community Resilience Networks to contribute to local and regional social and economic resilience an recovery
    • Project 7: Partner with Bellingen Shire Council and Resilience NSW to develop a Local Recovery Plan to prepare for future events
  • Hotspots Fire Project - Workshop One Delivered in the Orara Valley 

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Day One of the Hotspots Fire Project Orara Valley Workshop was attended by rural landholders from the Nana Glen area, representatives from the Nana Glen Bush Fire Brigade and a range of State and Local Government staff with an interest in sustainable fire management.

    The morning included a site visit to a local property and covered aspects of cultural fire and awareness; good fire planning and management and; connection with neighbours which is one of the key outcomes from the project. In the afternoon, information discussed on-site on how to protect life and property while protecting cultural and environmental values was applied in preparing individual fire management plans for landholders.

    Following bushfires, landholders may require different levels of support to assist them in navigating the complex decisions to create renewal and normality in their lives and landscapes that connect them. Hotspots is an opportunity to engage with community members to mobilise capacity; connect to the local landscape; facilitate recovery to preparedness and; enhance social and natural environments.

    Central to Hotspots is the role of partner agencies, community leaders and groups, support services as well as recovery committee in the planning and delivery of workshops. The Hotspots Fire Project is jointly delivered by the Rural Fire Service and The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and supported by the Coffs Harbour City Council Bushfire Recovery program.

    For more information on the Hotspots Fire Project please go to http://hotspotsfireproject.org.au

  • National Recovery and Resilience Agency Launched 

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    On Wednesday 5 May, the Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison launched the National Recovery and Resilience Agency at an event in Townsville, Queensland.
    The Recovery and Resilience Agency brings together the National Bushfire Recovery Agency and the National Drought and North Queensland Flood Response and Recovery Agency.

    This agency will draw on lessons learned through the challenges our communities have faced such as floods, bushfire, drought and impacts from COVID-19 to respond promptly so that recovery can commence sooner so that individuals, communities and businesses can better prepare for future shocks.

    “People who have been hit by a disaster or who are struggling under the heavy weight of prolonged drought, want to talk to a person, someone who understands what they are going through. The National Recovery and Resilience Agency will have its ‘boots on the ground’ through a national network of Recovery Support Officers who come from, live and work in communities across Australia.” The Hon Shane L Stone AC QC, National Coordinator-General Drought & North Queensland Floods. Visit www.recovery.gov.au for more information or click here for the full media release.

  • Community Recovery and Resilience Small Grants Program

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Applications are now open for small scale community grants. These grants are open to local community organisations to assist with the ongoing recovery needs from the 2019-2020 bushfires and to prepare for future disasters.

    The aim of this funding is to increase community capacity and capability to prepare for and recover from disasters. Grants of $2,500 to $5,000 to deliver flexible locally led community recovery activities and will be awarded to eligible community organisations that can:

    • Engage with the community to educate and raise awareness about hazards, with a focus on creating better prepared and resilient communities
    • Raise awareness that planning for disasters is a shared responsibility and educate groups to reduce risk, prepare for and respond to a disaster and encourage recovery arrangements.

    Applications are open until 30 July 2021. Apply online here or contact the Community Recovery team on 6648 4840. We are happy to help write the application!

  • Part-time Community Recovery Project Support Officer Appointed 

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    To support the coordination, engagement and implementation of the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Funding programs a part time Project Officer, Ottilie Bick-Simpson has been appointed. She brings a breadth of knowledge and skills from her work with local council and state government in community engagement, communications and project management. This position has been funded by Phase Two Stream 2 - Bushfire Community Recovery Resilience Fund.

  • GIVIT

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    In partnership with the NSW Government, GIVIT is managing donations during this recovery. To help the people and communities impacted by the severe storms and flooding, give what’s needed when it’s needed. View exactly what’s needed via www.GIVIT.org.au - you can donate money, items, services or volunteer support.

    PLEASE DO NOT SEND UNREQUESTED DONATIONS

    We know people are incredibly generous, but unrequested donations hinder recovery efforts and at this crucial time it’s important to not overwhelm charities on-the-ground. GIVIT’s website captures all donations online, so you can see and give exactly what's needed.

    BEST WAY TO HELP? FUND DONATIONS

    100% of donated money GIVIT receives is used to purchase essential items and services needed by people impacted. They buy locally, wherever possible, to also support local businesses. Please do not bring in donations that can be bought locally.

    Thank you all for your generosity to help the people and communities affected by this ongoing disaster.

  • Rural Adversity Mental Health Program - Flood Support

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    As with all disasters, the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health (CRRMH) and it’s Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) is responding to the March 2021 flood crisis in NSW.

    Disasters can have a big impact on those affected. The floods in NSW are ongoing and while physical safety is the priority, there are things you can do to take care of yourself and your mental health, particularly after the immediate threat of danger has passed. You may start to notice your mental health and wellbeing has been affected.

    As with all disasters, rural communities will need continued support to sustain mental wellbeing and to prevent mental health problems developing. The CRRMH is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of flood-affected communities.

    For resources, information and support for flood-affected individuals and communities, please click on Flood Support and link below:

    HELP SERVICES

  • Bale Out!

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    We’re loading up the truck with hay bales, musicians and loads of fun activities from April to June. The entire Coffs region will come to life with a series of 7 unique and local pop-up events in Ulong, Coramba, Nana Glen, Red Rock and Toormina, bookended by two big celebrations in Coffs Harbour.

    Bale Out! is a celebration of people, place and all that connects us with an emphasis on food, music and good old fashioned family friendly fun and activities.

    With the catchcry of “live large and local!” communities across the greater Coffs area have grabbed hold of the idea with great enthusiasm, taking the opportunity to share and celebrate their local village identities, individual passions and community aspirations.

    Join us for a modern take on the beloved old ‘greased pig’ competition or cheer on at the handcrafted boat races on the Orara River. Enjoy classical musicians on lush green river banks or visit the ‘Big Diggers’ giant machinery displays and the 100 motorbike ‘show and shine’. Finish off with a groove to the 200 live drummers pumping out African beats. Every event is brimming with local flavour and pride that will have you grinning from ear to ear.

    Whether you’re wanting to crank up to excitement or just chill out and enjoy the entertainment, make this your go-to event these coming holidays .
    Don’t forget to bring your own chair or picnic blanket.

    Saturday 17 April – Bale Out! Ulong
    Monday 19 April – Bale Out! Toormina
    Saturday 1 May – Bale Out! Red Rock
    Sunday 23 May – Bale Out! Coramba
    Saturday 5 June – Bale Out! Nana Glen
    Sunday 20 June – Bale Out! Family Fun Day – Harbourside Markets & surrounds

    All Bale Out! events are free and everyone is welcome.
    Proudly brought to you by Coffs Harbour City Council with support from NSW Government’s Summer Fund.