Grants for Bushfire and Drought relief
March 5th, 2020
Dive into our Grants for Bushfire and Drought Relief list, a carefully curated guide to aid those in need.
We have compiled a comprehensive list of sources providing grants for bushfire and drought relief to save you time and effort. This compilation aims to offer vital support during these challenging natural disasters, serving as a symbol of hope that presents potential assistance exactly when it is most needed.
The Australian Government recently announced that working holiday makers, known as ‘backpackers,’ can now include paid or volunteer bushfire recovery work for second or third-year working holiday visa requirements. Backpackers who assist in bushfire recovery efforts can work for an additional 6 months (a total of 12 months) with the same employer or organisation. Further details regarding this matter are still pending as the government has not yet provided specific information. Workplace Relations will keep members abreast of future details. You can find more information from the Department of Home Affairs.
Service NSW now has Customer Care specialists who will operate like case managers and connect bushfire-affected customers with services and support information. We include information on all the assistance offered by local councils, as well as state and federal governments. You can access this service using the existing Service NSW number 13 77 88. You can also request a call from a Bushfire Customer Care Specialist. Support offered by the NSW Government includes such services as: motor vehicle stamp duty relief; free replacement of documents; and council rates relief.
The Federal Government has announced that top-up grants of up to $50,000 will be available to businesses that have lost significant assets or had a major dip in revenue. The government will deliver $3.5 million to establish the Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line as well as to fund 10 additional financial counsellors with the ability to provide advice to around 100 small businesses a day.
The Government has pledged $76 million towards a tourism recovery package to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies affected by the bushfires. For more information view the press release here.
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 bushfires. For more information visit the Department of Human Services website.
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience. If you’re eligible you will get: $1,000 per adult and $400 for each child younger than 16. Read more on the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services website.
The NSW Government offers Disaster Relief Grants to eligible individuals and families. These grants will aid anyone whose homes and essential household items have suffered damage or been destroyed because of a natural disaster. To qualify for this grant, you need to meet the following criteria:
Disaster recovery grants of up to $15,000 are now available to small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in LGAs affected by the NSW bushfires that have occured from 31 August 2019. To determine your eligibility, please refer to the list of Local Government Areas (LGAs) that have been affected.
Eligible volunteer firefighters who are self-employed or work for small and medium-sized businesses and have lost income can apply for the Volunteer Firefighter Payment. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, these firefighters can receive up to $300 per day, with a total limit of $6000. These payments are tax-free and don’t require income verification. More information is available on the Service NSW website.
Emergency grants are open across Australia to people whose primary place of residence has beendestroyed or rendered permanently uninhabitable as the result of bushfires from 1 July 2019 to 28 February 2020. The Red Cross are providing Bereavements Payments, Emergency Grants, Repair Grants, and Injury Grants. Grants will be open until 30 April 2020 (extended until 30 June). For more information visit the Australian Red Cross website or call 1800 733 276.
The Salvation Army provides a variety of services and assistance to individuals affected by bushfires, including:
For additional information, you can visit the Salvation Army’s website or contact them on 1300 662 217.
St Vincent de Paul are offering Financial Hardship grants and Significant House Damage grants. In addition, Vinnies offers various forms of assistance, including food and grocery vouchers, clothing and bedding, toiletries and essentials, fuel vouchers, emotional support, and referrals to other services. Find out more by calling 13 18 12 or visit the St Vincent de Paul website.
Anglicare can provide trained volunteer and assistance in the form of: food; cash cards for utilities; support to pay bills; access to clothing; financial; trauma and grief counselling; and support to navigate assistance.
Starting from January 17, the Department of Health will fund Medicare benefits for up to 10 mental health treatment services. You qualify if:
The Department of Humas Services website has more information.
IDEAS eBility Bushfire Relief website provides a Temporary Bushfire Crisis Relief Exchange site for People with Disability to donate or find accessible disability equipment in good working order and related non-perishable consumables. The items – such as wheelchairs, walkers and scooters – have been donated or lent out for free. People in bushfire areas can also request wanted items. Read more on the eBility website.
The bushfires are impacting a number of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants, their families, carers and providers. Detailed information for participants and providers affected by bushfires is available on the NDIS and disaster response page. NDIA staff are joining the Department of Human Services Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Service Teams deployed across New South Wales and Victoria. Locations are listed in the ‘NDIS assistance in bushfire affected areas.
NDIA staff are joining the Department of Human Services Mobile Service Centres and Mobile Service Teams deployed across New South Wales and Victoria. Locations are listed in the ‘NDIS assistance in bushfire affected areas’ news item.
If you have been impacted by the recent bushfires and require legal assistance, the newly established Disaster Response Legal Service NSW, operated by Legal Aid NSW, is available to offer free support. The Disaster Response Legal Service NSW can provide guidance on various matters, including:
Call the Disaster Response Legal Service NSW on 1800 801 529 or go to the Legal Aid NSW website for more information.
The Department of Primary Industries has launched a Bushfire Hub to help producers find information on emergency response, financial assistance, bushfire recovery, and health and wellbeing. Access the Bushfire Hub here.
Up to $75,000 is available to primary producers to assist with costs including fencing, repairing critical infrastructure, treating or burying livestock, buying fodder, and for orchardists, replacing netting and trees.
The AgriWebb Helping Hand Project is connecting farmers who can help, with farmers who have been affected by bushfire. Farmers can register here to assist other farmers, while those affected by bushfires can register for help – whether they need labour, agistment, feed or machinery.
Support for New Zealanders who can show they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the bushfires. Ex-gratia 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. Ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Allowance is a taxable payment. More information can be found on the Department of Human Services website.
Support for eligible New Zealanders adversely affected by the bushfires. The ex-gratia Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience. You can choose to get this payment in 2 instalments if you prefer. If you’re eligible you will get: $1,000 per adult; $1,000 per partner or dependent adult; and $400 for each child under 16 years of age. The Department of Human Services website has more information.
The Australian Financial Complaints Authority Bushfire Support Line 1800 337 444 can assist people affected by bushfires with complaints about financial products and services. For example, if you find yourself in a dispute with your insurer or financial provider about a claim or request for assistance.
NAB is providing grants of $2,000 to customers who have lost their homes to bushfire, to help cover costs such as temporary accommodation, food and clothing. They are also providing support for NAB business and agribusiness customers directly impacted by bushfires to help restart or reopen and cover the cost of damaged property, equipment, fencing – and for loss of stock or livestock. More information is available on the NAB website.
The Westpac Bushfire Fund has been established with various provisions:
Read here more information on the Westpac Bushfire fund.
This package includes support for Westpac customers that can include grants up to $2000, deferring loan and credit repayments, and emergency funds and accommodation for Westpac Home and Contents insurance customers. Business customers with existing loans can request loan restructuring without incurring fees and business customers with merchant facilities are eligible to receive assistance. Affected credit card customers may apply to defer repayments; Customers wishing to purchase replacement goods may apply for a personal loan at a discounted interest rate with no establishment fee; Westpac will waive interest rate adjustments for affected customers wishing to withdraw term deposits; and customers experiencing severe hardship may also be offered a halt on all interest accrual on unsecured credit products.
The Disaster Relief Package has been extended to support volunteer firefighters active in fighting the current bushfires across NSW, Victoria & South Australia and offers financial assistance to affected customers including: Home loan repayment deferral for up to 3 months and interest waivers, fee cancellations and term extensions. For more information on Westpac’s Disaster Relief Package visit Westpac’s website.
Up to $50,000 grants available to assist the longer term recovery of organisations directly affected by the bushfires. Community organisations, fire services, schools, sporting clubs and non-government organisations in a bushfire affected area are eligible to apply. More information can be cound on the CommBank website.
Visit your local ANZ branch if you are a customer or get in touch with the Relationship Manager if you have been impacted by bushes in any disaster-declared area. This will allow them to discuss the impact on their business or personal circumstances and explore the available support options. Read ANZ’s media release for more information.
Bank First have a financial assistance package to support customers experiencing hardship. Support available may include: Interest-free loans of up to $5000; The ability to defer loan and credit card repayments; Credit card customers can apply for an emergency credit card limit increase; Waiver of interest rate reduction for term deposit withdrawals prior to maturity; and Waiver of other fees and charges that are derived as a result of the bushfires. Customers with home and contents insured through CGU can also apply for emergency funds and temporary accommodation costs. Bank First’s website contains more information and details.
The NSW Government has established the Bushfire Housing Assistance Service to support people who are temporarily or permanently displaced as a result of the NSW bushfires. The Bushfire Housing Assistance Service can help with: Emergency temporary accommodation; Assistance with a private rental bond and advance rent costs; Sourcing accommodation options from the private rental and short term housing sector, and assistance with sourcing accommodation options in your local communities or in areas where you have family or local networks. The Department of Communities and Justice website has more information.
Oaks Hotels, Resorts & Suites have announced that selected properties nationwide will offer complimentary rooms for those who have lost their homes. Eligible applicants are entitled to seven nights free accommodation across any Australian property of Minor Hotels, subject to blockout periods which will be notified upon enquiry. Participating properties are located in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia. The offer is redeemable from now until the end of June 2020. More information is available here.
The NSW Government is coordinating the clean-up of NSW residences and businesses impacted by the NSW bushfires. This includes both insured and uninsured properties. Public Works Advisory (PWA), in consultation with property owners, is leading the clean-up effort with insurers, local government and contractors, to ensure that properties are efficiently and safely cleared. The commencement of work will take place once the firegrounds are declared safe by the Rural Fire Service. Please be aware that the expenses associated with property clearing will not be subtracted from the available funds provided by insurance policies. More information can be cound on the Service NSW website.
The Insurance Council of Australia is operating a 24-hour hotline to help people impacted by the bushfires with general information about claims and recovery. Call 1800 734 621 for assistance on their Catastrophe Hotline.
The Insurance Australia Group (IAG) are contacting their customers (including customers of NRMA, CGU, WFI, RACV) within impacted communities to offer emergency accommodation and financial assistance. Call IAG insurers for assistance:
The Reece Grant will be directing all funds raised until 30 June 2020 to projects dedicated to Bushfire Rebuild projects. The Reece Group have kick-started this fund with $150,000. If you, or a tradesperson you know is involved in a project to help rebuild in a community that has been affected by the Australian bushfires, you may be eligible to apply. More information is available here.
The Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) has established an emergency response grant to provide assistance to Indigenous corporations whose properties have been directly impacted by the bushfires. A grant of up to $20,000 will be accessible to aid these corporations in promptly securing and cleaning up their damaged properties. For more information, plese refer to the National Indigenous Australians Agency website.
To aid its business finance and home loan customers who have been directly affected by the ongoing bushfires, either through property loss or mandatory evacuation, IBA has introduced the Bushfire Crisis Fund, offering the following assistance:
For more details, please refer to the Indigenous Business Australia website.
Telstra customers impacted by bushfires are eligible for relief packages which can include one-off phone credit and free diversion from an affected phone service to another service, regardless of carrier. Volunteer firefighters have the option to have their mobile phone bills waived for the months of December 2019 and January 2020. Visit the Telstra website for more information.
Affected Optus customers are eligible for financial assistance which can include free prepaid credit, bill waivers in extreme cases, and free diversion from an affected phone service to another service, regardless of carrier. In December 2019 and January 2020, volunteer firefighters have the opportunity to have their mobile phone bills waived as well. Read more here.
Optus have further announced the Green Shoots grants program for small business. 2000 grants will be available through the program and will include: A technology pack which includes a complimentary tablet and up to two years Optus mobile plan and/or fixed internet service; Making available our dedicated tech support team based in Australia for small businesses and Optus to extend its staff volunteer programme to enable its staff to support small businesses affected by the bushfires to get back on their feet. For further terms and conditions click here.
Vodafone will waive any mobile network usage charges for all volunteer firefighters for their December 2019 and January 2020 bills. Further details here.
For identified impacted postcodes, the ATO will automatically grant deferrals for lodgements and payments due. You, or your agent, don’t need to apply for these deferrals. Taxpayers in impacted postcodes will now have until May 28, 2020 to lodge and pay business activity statements and income tax returns. Businesses making quarterly Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) Instalments can adjust these instalments to zero for the December 2019 quarter. Additionally, they can request a refund for any instalments already made for the September 2019 quarter. Visit the ATO website for more information.
Actively serve as volunteer firefighters and SES volunteers can temporarily suspending all bills. Powershop is providing support to who have experienced home loss. They provide various account payment assistance options, access to their bushfire relief offer, and cover any fees related to connecting energy at new or temporary accommodation. Customers who are volunteer firefighters and SES volunteers are eligible for a one-off saving of $100 to their Powershop electricity account. Visit the Powershop website for more information.
Students at the University of Sydney directly impacted by the recent bushfires and are in need of financial assistance may qualify for the Disaster Relief Bursary. The value of the bursary is up to $1000 and is a one-off payment. In addition to bursary support we also offer interest free loans. For more details, please visit the University of Sydney website where you can find additional information.
For more information on all of the above grants visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.
For more information on all of the above grants and subsidies visit the Department of Primary Industries website.