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.

  • RED CROSS Lockdown Wellness Kit

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    The Red Cross have put together a useful and informative kit full of wonderful ideas to keep us healthy in mind and body while we stay at home.This kit features games, music ideas, journaling prompts, creative activities and much much more. Downloadable here.

  • Application Closing Date Extended for Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants Program

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    The closing date for submitting applications has been extended by one month to 5pm AEST on 6 October 2021. The NRRA have given extra time in response to community feedback on the challenges to due to lockdowns and restrictions.

    Six additional online workshops are being held between 31 August and 23 September to support you with your application. For registration and session times go to https://recovery.gov.au/black-summer-grants-workshops.

    If you require one-to-one support,it is available by contacting the Business.gov.au Contact Centre at 13 28 46 on weekdays between 8am and 8pm.

    If you have submitted an application already and would like to amend your project proposal please call 13 28 46 as soon as possible.

  • Free GP Service by Phone or Online - Healthy North Coast

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    General practitioners are available for consultations and prescription requests, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free service offered by Healthy North Coast is possible online or by phone. To book an appointment simply call 1800 931 158 or visit: https://hnc.org.au/gp-after-hours-telehealth/
    For useful information on current COVID-19 testing locations, the vaccine eligibility checker and ongoing assistance visit: Healthy North Coast

  • Keeping Healthy and Fit During Lockdown

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    The NSW Office of Sport have compiled a huge amount of resources to keep us healthy, fit and happy during lockdown. While we may be feeling limited on our activities we can opt to use this time to focus on our health and diet. Topics include: activities for kids, activities for seniors, accessible activities, general fitness, sport-specific activities, flexibility, school camp at home, healthy eating active living. And for those of us who want to get serious NSW Institute of Sport – High Performance at Home which covers key nutrients for immune support, nine ways you can make a recipe healthier and nutrition advice for endurance running. Have a look at their videos, ideas, games apps and recipes for all walks of life to stay well at home.

    Visit: Get Active at Home.

  • Apply Now for Black Summer Bushfire Recovery Grants

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    Grants of between $20,000 and $10 million are now available through Black Summer Bushfire Recovery (BSBR) Grants program to help communities address priorities for recovery and resilience after the 2019-20 bushfires.

    This $280 million from the National Bushfire Recovery Fund and is additional to support already provided through a range of bushfire recovery programs and is open to all local government areas where a disaster declared as a result of the 2019-20 bushfires.

    These grants are open to community organisations, businesses and local councils.

    Applications will close 2 September 2021.

    For more information visit The National Resilience and Recovery Agency.

    Successful projects will be announced by the end of 2021.

  • Community Recovery & Resilience Small Grant Program Awardees Announced

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    A big congratulations to the grant recipients who will be delivering the following programs and activities in our communities over the coming months:

    Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce, awarded $6,300 for Business Resilience Event
    Over the last two years local businesses have experienced a large number of unexpected events that have interrupted, or have the potential to interrupt their business operations and viability. This event will be held to address needs of the business community and prepare individual Business Continuity Plans.

    The Fathering Project - Nana Glen Primary School, awarded $5,000
    The Fathering Project aims to improve child development outcomes by inspiring and equipping fathers and father figures to effectively engage with their kids. It delivers resources, programs and events specific to the engagement style and needs of dads and father-figures. The purpose of this project is to partner with individuals and communities to change lives for the better. This project will commence in September.

    Eastern Dorrigo Region, awarded $5,370 for Community Consultation
    A community consultation event will be held with the following objectives: 1) to undertake a facilitated planning day to assist in developing a community engagement plan, 2) to improve the community’s capacity and capability to respond to future disasters by establishing a sense of place, a mechanism for community voices to be heard and issues to be addressed through an agreed and established process, 3) to better understand the region’s demographics and build a framework for a community needs assessment.

    Corindi Community Group, awarded $4,900 to Build Connections
    Building connections within the local community is essential for people to feel safe and feel supported when faced with challenges and experiencing disasters. Developing these connections so that they can support each other, and have confidence that they are not alone. This community group will be holding activities to create opportunities for neighbours to connect, share and build understanding and resilience in their local area.

    We look forward to seeing the success of these projects in our bushfire effected communities which will build capacity and resilience across our region.

  • Hotspots Fire Project - Workshop Two Delivered

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    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

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    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

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    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 

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    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

Page last updated: 27 August 2021, 17:06