Support for bushfire affected communities extended to end of 2021

Recovery Support Services for those affected by last season’s unprecedented bushfires have been extended until the end of 2021 by the Federal Government and the NSW Government.

Recovery Support Services link people to their own personalised recovery support worker, who can help navigate and access services and disaster assistance.

Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the extension would ensure long-term support is available for impacted communities throughout their recovery.

“We’re pleased to extend this funding for another 12 months as these locally based services provide an important link between survivors and the support they need as they recover,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The Australian Government will continue to work closely with the New South Wales Government to ensure that the affected communities have all the support they need as they continue their recovery.”

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the dedicated service had proven its value in helping people manage the complex issues faced in the aftermath of the bushfires and reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring no one is left behind.

“These locally-based recovery support services have made an immense difference in helping people who have lost homes, property or livelihoods navigate their recovery journey,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Providing a further $8.2 million in funding to extend these services for another year is an absolute no brainer and will give people much needed certainty and stability.

“We know that people will reach out for help in their own time and the Recovery Support Services will be here for you when you’re ready for it, whether that’s today, in 6 months, or in a years’ time,” he said.

“We have also embedded 22 Local Recovery Officers in local councils and are full steam ahead with the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund and Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund, which are playing a key role in driving on a vast community-led recovery around our great state,” Mr Barilaro said.

Hawkesbury City Council is encouraging bushfire-impacted community members who need advice, assistance or guidance on the next steps in their recovery to make contact with their local Recovery Support Service.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Patrick Conolly welcomed the extension of recovery support to the end of 2021.

“These free services are there to help everyone impacted by last summer’s fires,” Mayor Conolly said.

“The wellbeing of our fire affected residents and business operators is so important, and it’s good to know that support is available while they are also handling finances, insurance claims, rebuilding approvals, and all the other challenges they may face as part of the recovery process.

“Having a real person who is dedicated to help your own community, who can listen and help you through the day to day challenges as well as long term challenges makes a huge difference,” the Mayor said.

“Every person, family and community will find themselves at different points in their recovery, so it is commendable that the Australian and NSW Governments have announced that the assistance that has been provided to date will be continued for another year.”

Your Local Recovery Support Services

  • Step By Step Bushfire Recovery Support Service – contact Anne on 0417 298 832
  • Department of Primary Industries – contact Anthea on 0409 440 297
  • NSW Health Bushfire and COVID team – contact Vanessa on 0429 001 034.

A complete list of recovery services is at www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/bushfire-recovery

Local community recovery catch ups

Council’s community recovery team recently held Hawkesbury community catch ups with Red Cross and Peppercorn Services in Colo Heights, Bilpin and St Albans. People came along for refreshments and chat with the team about their communities and about how they were coping a year on from the 2019/2020 bushfires. Native plants and possum boxes made by children from Chisolm Catholic Primary School were also available as giveaways as part of the community connection events. If you need to contact Liz about Bushfire Recovery matters, please call Liz on 4560 4444 or 0437 144 475 or email emurphy@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au

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