Bushfire Recovery News and Updates

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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.

  • Grant Funding to Support the Orara Valley Community Bushfire Recovery Efforts

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    The Orara Valley Progression Association (OVPA) has been successful in securing grant funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal for Community Recovery. Ross and Faye Neil from Glenreagh HeartStart will volunteer their time as Team Leaders to support recovery efforts of the community, investigate establishing Community Hubs in Nana Glen and Glenreagh and to improve wellbeing of individuals and the community. HeartStart and the Coffs Harbour Council Community Recovery Officer will work in cooperation to support community recovery.

    You can contact Ross and Faye by email heartstart@glenreagh.org.au or mobile 0439 190 076

  • Being Informed About Bushfire Recovery - Questionnaire

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    The National Bushfire Recovery Agency (NBRA) is committed to ensuring people in bushfire affected areas are supported and have access to the help and information they need.

    The aim of the questionnaire is to find out how to best support people with information as the recovery process continues. There are 8 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is open until the end of May.

    The Social Deck is managing the questionnaire on behalf of the NBRA and during May will host a number of online group discussions. Community members can express an interest to participate via the questionnaire or by emailing engage@thesocialdeck.com

    If you have any questions or would like support in completing the questionnaire, please contact The Social Deck at engage@thesocialdeck.com or phone 0491 617 118. Information is collected and used in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

    Access the questionnaire via the link https://bit.ly/bushfiresrecovery

  • Small Business Bushfire Support Grant Extended to Coffs and Bellingen

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    Today the NSW Government announced that the Small Business Bushfire Support Grant of $10,000 would be expanded to 13 new Local Government Areas (LGAs) including Coffs Harbour. The expansion will be jointly funded by Commonwealth and NSW Governments.

    This grant will now be available to small businesses in Coffs Harbour City Council LGA and Bellingen Shire Council LGA that have experienced a significant decline in revenue, specifically a decline in revenue of 40% or more in a relevant three-month period because of the bushfires (compared to the same period in the previous year).

    A decline in revenue as a result of bushfire may include multiple scenarios. This evidence requirement may be demonstrated when the business was in a defined disaster area and subject to at least one of:

    • an evacuation order or tourism leave order
    • other supply chain interruptions or stock damage resulting in reduced sales, such as road closures and utility disconnections, or
    • significantly reduced customer numbers, such as through consumer perception of danger and smoke haze.

    The application process for this grant has been simplified so eligible small businesses can access funds as quickly as possible. The grant may be used for, but is not limited to:

    • meeting standard business costs, including utilities, salaries and rent
    • seeking financial advice to support the recovery of the business
    • adjusting the business to be viable in the changed local context following the bushfires
    • developing the business and extending business reach through marketing and communications activities, or
    • improvements to make the business more resilient to future disasters.

    Applications from the newly included LGAs will be open from Thursday 23 April.


    For more information click on the link below or contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or via their Business Concierge.


  • BlazeAid Glenreagh Camp Remains Open During COVID-19

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    BlazeAid has been putting in place precautions to protect their volunteers and the community during the coronavirus outbreak. They are continuing to assist affected Orara Valley locals to rebuild their fences.

    The Glenreagh Camp currently remains open. All remaining BlazeAid camps are required to abide by strict regulations regarding hygiene, social distancing and isolation.

    In order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, from Friday 27 March 2020, until further notice, BlazeAid is not accepting any local or new volunteers in their camps.

    Due to early action and established protocols, all volunteers who are currently at base camps around the country have already been through a mandatory 14 day isolation period, and continue practicing minimal contact with communities.

    This way, BlazeAid is still able to help the farmers in our communities still recovering from the bushfires.

    Some of their volunteers have been billoted out to farm stays, where they will help rebuild until the COVID crisis ends. Others work out of a base camp and travel to farms, and no contact is made with farmers other than via phone.

    For more information on the BlazeAid camp at Glenreagh contact the camp's coordinator John Lillico, 0484 145 732 or at blazeaid.glenreagh@gmail.com


  • Bushfire recovery and COVID-19

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    While COVID-19 introduces a new challenge to bushfire recovery, the NSW Government and Coffs Harbour City Council are determined to maintain momentum and keep delivering help to bushfire impacted communities.

    The way in which assistance is delivered will have to adapt to the new circumstances.

    The NSW Government program with clean-up program with Laing O’Rourke will continue. It’s been deemed an essential service.

    Community and contractor safety is paramount. Laing O’Rourke project teams are implementing measures to protect our community and staff and contractors.

    They are still aiming to have most of the residential properties cleared by 30 June.

    Properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes are eligible for the clean-up program. This includes insured and uninsured properties.

    While free, you must opt-on for clean-up. Call Service NSW on 13 77 88 to register, or do it online.

    COVID-19 and Coffs City Council services and programs

    The Recovery Office at Nana Glen has been closed until further notice. Keep an eye on this page for recovery updates.

    There is a Coronavirus page on Council’s website with updated information on any current changes to other Coffs City Council services and community activities.

    As updates and information are changing frequently we strongly recommend downloading the official Government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join their WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.


  • Temporary accommodation available

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    The NSW Government is working to make sure people in bushfire-impacted areas are safe and cared for.

    In the lead-up to Winter, there is still emergency accommodation available for people affected by bushfires.

    Any person affected by the bushfires can be put in temporary accommodation immediately by calling Service NSW on 13 77 88.

  • Service NSW Business Concierge provides small business support

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    It’s been a difficult few months for our community and businesses.

    If your business has been impacted by the NSW bushfires, is feeling the impact of the measures to control COVID-19 (or is impacted by both), contact the Service NSW Business Concierge.

    They’ll identify the specific support and services available to your business, including relevant grants.

    To be connected to the Service NSW Business Concierge call 13 77 88 or request a call back via their website.

  • Mental health support for our community

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    The emotional impacts of bushfire can continue long after the fires have passed. You might also be feeling additional distress and anxiety during the coronavirus outbreak. Support is available, you are not alone.

    The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

    • Lifeline Bushfire Recovery: 13 43 57
    • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
    • MensLine Australia: 1300 78 9978
    • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
    • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511

    If you are anyone you know is in immediate danger, call 000.

    Northern NSW - Connect to Wellbeing

    The following free service is available to people impacted by fires and drought. No GP referral is needed. Call Northern NSW - Connect to Wellbeing on 1300 160 339.

  • New NSW Bushfire Recovery Newsletter

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    The NSW Office of Emergency Management have released community recovery information and updated their services to respond to COVID 19 restrictions.

    Read the full newsletter for a list of service providers contact information such as mental health, clean ups, emergency temporary accommodation, customer care support line and information on accessing the following forms of financial assistance:

    • Small Business Grants
    • Business Loans
    • Free legal advice
    • Stamp duty relief
    • Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Payment & Allowance
    • NSW Government Disaster Relief Grants
    • Volunteer Firefighters’ Financial Support
    • Primary Industries Grants Program

    For the full newsletter please follow this link: https://haveyoursay.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/52967/documents/147323

  • Eligibility extended for Red Cross $5,000 Immediate Assistance Grant

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    Immediate assistance is available for homeowners who have been affected by the recent bushfires.

    Eligibility has been extended to access the Primary Residence Repair grants of $5,000 to include destruction or damage to critical private water, septic and/or power infrastructure attached to your primary place of residence and located on your property.

    For more information please visit: https://www.redcross.org.au/grants

Page last updated: 27 August 2021, 17:06