Have you been impacted by the recent fires?
A community recovery update free barbecue and meeting is being held tomorrow (Thursday) at the Wauchope Showground between 11.30am and 12.30pm.
It will be followed by a community meeting at 12.30pm with representatives from Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and key agencies including Office of Emergency Management, Rural Fire Service, Fire and Rescue NSW, Disaster Welfare, Rural Resilience Program, Department of Primary Industries, Public Works Advisory Group, Red Cross and Telstra will be available to answer questions and provide advice and assistance.
Free legal advice
Legal Aid NSW lawyers will give free legal advice and support to hundreds of people affected by the recent bushfires.
Attorney General Mark Speakman praised Legal Aid NSW's (LANSW) history of providing legal assistance to people affected by bushfires.
"The LANSW Disaster Response Service team stands ready to provide legal assistance that covers a range of issues, including insurance claims, tenancy, credit and debt, financial hardship, social security entitlements and employment," Mr Speakman said.
He said lawyers would form part of the wide range of assistance available at LANSW offices at Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour and outreaches at Forster, Kempsey, Taree, Bowraville, Grafton, Macksville, and Nambucca.
Fires in northern NSW this year have destroyed or damaged more than 670 homes and left many hundreds of people facing the challenge of rebuilding their lives.
Legal Aid NSW CEO Brendan Thomas said that civil lawyers from the Disaster Response Service were specialists in areas of law such as insurance, debt, tenancy, social security and financial hardship.
"All of our solicitors providing help at these locations have undergone training about what to expect," Mr Thomas said.
"This is important work at a difficult and stressful time in people's lives, so part of the training is about how best to respond to the trauma experienced by those affected by bushfires.
"Having an experienced advisor to help you navigate through legal issues can significantly reduce trauma and pave the way to rebuilding lives."
Free legal advice is available to anyone affected by a natural disaster. For more intensive casework, a means and merit test is applied. Victims of natural disasters are considered priority clients. The LawAccess NSW Disaster Response Hotline is 1800 801 529 or visit www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
Community Recovery Information
Small Business Grants
Grants of up to $15,000 are available if your business has been directly affected by bush fire.
Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or click here for more information.
Primary Producer Grants
Grants of up to $15,000 are available for bush fire affected primary producers.
Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit click here for eligibility criteria.
Local Government Areas this applies to are Armidale Regional, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lismore, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Richmond Valley, Tenterfield, Tweed and Walcha.
Disaster Relief Grants
If you are not insured and have limited income, you may be eligible for a disaster relief grant. Please call Disaster Welfare on 1800 018 444.
Grants are available for eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.
Contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
Disaster Recovery Allowance
The Disaster Recovery Allowance has been activated by the Australian Government for people affected by the NSW Bush Fires.
This provides short term support payment to assist those whose income has been affected as a direct result of the bush fires.
Call 180 2266 or visit humanservices.gov.au
Domestic Water Assistance
If your potable water has been used by a fire fighting agency to fight the fire, you may be eligible to have it replaced. This assistance is for residential properties in rural areas.
Disaster Welfare is working with NSW RFS to identify impacted properties.
Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
Disaster Recovery Payment
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment has been activated for people severely affected by the NSW Bush Fires.
This provides a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child if your home has been destroyed or severely damaged - including smoke damage.
Call 180 2266 to apply.
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