Major Fire Updates
Community Recovery & Recovery Events
Current Recovery Efforts
Current Recovery available for Bushfires from 13th Oct 2023
Blaze Aid for Fencing assistance
Stanthorpe QLD basecamp is now open. Blaze Aid can assist, take registrations and to meet property owners, volunteers and community members -all welcome!
This camp will be assisting property owners across two states - from Tenterfield NSW to Dalveen in QLD and everywhere in between.
If you can assist or you need assistance with fencing please call Chris on 0418 745 994.
The NSW Reconstruction Authority is providing support to individuals, families, farmers, and business owners affected by bushfires in the Tenterfield Local Government Area. This update provides information on the different clean-up, waste removal and support services available for the community.
As community need changes, the Service NSW website will be updated with information on where you can seek face-to-face support: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/services/recovery-centres
The NSW Reconstruction Authority is available to connect you with services and support.
Returning to your Property Safely
Road Access, Assessments & Repairs
Tenterfield Shire Council and Transport for NSW is progressively undertaking road assessments across the affected area. Once declared safe to re-open, Council will update Live Traffic NSW.
Visit https://www.livetraffic.com/ to keep up to date on road access and any repair works.
Rainwater may be contaminated by debris, dead birds or animals, fire retardants, or large amounts of ash. The water may also be contaminated if the tank, internal lining or plumbing was damaged.
The presence of ash and debris in rainwater is unlikely to be a health risk but could affect the appearance and taste. Fire retardants currently used in Australia are of low toxicity but may also affect the appearance and taste of rainwater.
If you are concerned that your rainwater tastes, looks or smells unusual, or you suspect your rainwater has been contaminated, an alternative safe water supply should be used for human or animal consumption.
If you need to bring in water, it is important you use an accredited water carter. If the water was used for firefighting by the NSW Rural Fire Service, reimbursement can be sought from Service NSW at 13 77 88.
Further information is available at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Pages/rainwater-bushfires.aspx
Damage to Wastewater Systems
On-site wastewater systems, such as septic tanks and aerated wastewater treatment systems (AWTS), and their land application systems, for example sprinklers and below ground drippers, can be easily damaged during a bushfire.
Avoid driving or walking near a fire-affected system until it is assessed by a licensed plumber or service technician familiar with on-site wastewater systems.
Tenterfield Shire Council is assessing wastewater systems on affected properties. Further advice will be provided on scheduling inspections soon.
More information on managing wastewater can be accessed at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/bushfires-onsite-wastewater-systems.aspx
Firefighting & Water Replacement
During bush fire emergencies, firefighters may need to draw water from private properties as they work to protect life and property by suppressing the fire.
Under certain circumstances, such as during a prolonged drought, this water may be replaced by the NSW RFS in consultation with the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) as the Agriculture and Animal Services Functional Area under the NSW Government’s Disaster Assistance Scheme.
More information on criteria can be found here: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/187395/Firefighting-and-Water-Replacement-Factsheet-May-2022.pdf
Clean-up of Waste & Debris
Trees & Vegetation on Private Property
Small amounts of felled trees and burnt vegetation can be disposed of at your local waste facility.
You will need to pay for waste disposal and any associated clean-up costs. Contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 if you need help with waste clean-up and disposal as eligibility criteria applies.
Copper chrome arsenate (CCA) is a wood preservative used to protect wood from rotting, fungi and insects. Burnt CCA-treated timber will contain arsenic. The SafeWork NSW provides information on safe disposal of CCA-treated timber and ash and steps you can take to protect your health.
Freshly treated CCA-timber can be identified by its yellow/greenish colour which fades to grey over time. It is not always easy to identify if a product is CCA-treated timber and if in doubt it is important to treat the timber as if it does contain CCA.
Small amounts of CCA-treated timber ash can be placed in a sealed plastic bag and disposed of at your local waste facility. Larger amounts of CCA-timber ash can be disposed of at the nearest suitable landfill. Please contact Tenterfield Shire Council on 02 6736 6000 for location information. Ash must be double bagged and sealed to ensure it’s contained during transport and handling. Do not put CCA-timber or ash in your garden organics bin.
You will need to pay for waste disposal and any associated clean-up costs.
Hazardous Materials & Asbestos
Buildings and other structures damaged in a bushfire leave health and safety hazards in the remaining debris and ash. If a fire-damaged building was built before 1990, it is likely to contain asbestos.
A fire damaged asbestos building does not generate significant levels of asbestos fibres in the air unless it is disturbed. Although it is generally low risk to walk around or nearby asbestos damaged buildings, risks can increase when the material is disturbed.
The site will need to be continually damped down so as not to cause dust or be sprayed with polyvinyl acetate (PVA), or a similar sealant, to reduce the risk of the asbestos fibres becoming airborne (further reapplication requirements need to be monitored). This needs to continue until the site is cleaned up. Dust suppression should not be so great that it causes runoff into nearby drains and waterways.
It is advisable you do not do any clean-up of asbestos yourself. Asbestos will be removed by a licensed asbestos removalist, who will ensure work is carried out safely.
All bushfire generated waste that contains asbestos must only be handled by appropriately trained people and disposed of at a landfill that can lawfully receive this type of waste. The nearest suitable landfill can be located by contacting Tenterfield Shire Council on 02 6736 6000.
For more information on asbestos management, visit SafeWork at https://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/resource-library/natural-disasters/property-hazards-following-a-bushfire-fact-sheet
Damaged Buildings or Structures
If you have damaged structures on your property and are insured, check with your provider about support for clean-up. At this stage, non-or under-insured properties will be required to self-manage structural clean-ups and disposals.
Clean-up & Replacement of Fencing
Impact assessments are being completed and reviewed determine the need for fencing clean-up, disposal and replacement. Once this work is complete, information will be provided on support for fence replacement. Blaze aid contact Chris the coordinator at Stanthorpe camp on 0418 745 994. Fire-impacted fencing (free of dirt/vegetation) may be taken. The nearest suitable landfill can be located by contacting Tenterfield Shire Council on 02 6736 6000.
Using Private Contractors
If you're using a building contractor or tradesperson for services to assess or rebuild structures on your property, you should check that they have a valid contractor licence.You can check for a licence online. If you can't find it, contact NSW Fair Trading to confirm that the person does hold a contractor licence. By law, all contractors must show their licence number on all advertising, stationery and signage. You can check a building licence at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/check-a-builder-or-tradesperson-licence
Looking After Yourself & Others
Bushfire Mental Health Support Services
Bushfires often cause trauma and distress for individuals, families and communities. Many people affected will recover over time with support from relatives, friends and colleagues. Some people will require additional psychological support.
There are a range of specific resources to help people work towards recovery in the event of a disaster. The Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network, NSW Health, the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army and Rural Financial Counselling Service are available at the Recovery Centre to provide support where needed.
Support services can also be contacted by calling the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 or Service NSW on 13 77 88.
Looking After Yourself
During a bushfire emergency, and when returning home, it is important to take care of yourself and your mental health.
- spend time with family and friends
- try to get back to a routine but don’t push yourself and work too hard
- continue a healthy lifestyle (try to eat well, sleep and exercise)
- take time out, but don’t isolate yourself
- accept help when it’s offered.
It’s important you seek professional help if you are experiencing extreme feeling of distress, emotional reactions that last for more than a few weeks, or distress that interferes with your regular everyday activities.
More information is available at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/services/health-and-care/mental-wellbeing-resources
A disaster declaration has been made by the Australian and NSW Governments for the Tenterfield Local Government area, opening up access to a range of special assistance measures for the community.
Grants and loans are available for primary producers, small businesses, sporting and recreation clubs and not-for-profit organisations who meet criteria and have been impacted by the bushfire.
Contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 to find out more or to apply. You can also visit https://disasterassistance.service.nsw.gov.au/ to locate the assistance available to you.
If you need donated support
NSW Bushfire Appeal
Led by GIVIT, a national online Not-For-Profit organisation that matches generosity with genuine need. Impacted individuals can use GIVIT to request donated goods and services.
Those impacted by the fires can visit https://www.givit.org.au/need-help to find a local registered organisation who can assist in requesting donations.
If you want to donate
Australians love to help and support those in need, but we are asking the community to donate responsibly. Dropping off donations into impacted areas can overwhelm on-the-ground resources, who don’t have the resources to effectively manage what is being sent.
Please think before you give, and don’t donate unrequested items to the NSW communities affected by the recent bushfires.
If you would like to donate towards the impacted community, you can give what’s needed or fund items through GIVIT’s NSW Bushfires appeal. More information is available at: https://www.givit.org.au/nsw-bushfires-2023
For other ways to donate, please visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/emergency/donations.
We’ve seen the devastating impact that bushfires have on communities across NSW.
It’s important you take the time now to prepare for bushfires. That means knowing your risk and having a plan for what to do during a fire.
As part of your bushfire plan, you should:
- Discuss what you will do in a fire, whether that is leaving early, or deciding to stay if you are well prepared.
- Prepare your home and get it ready for bushfire season.
- Know the bushfire alert levels and fire danger ratings, and the actions you need to take should advice change.
- Keep key information handy such as phone numbers, websites, and places to stay up to date on conditions in your area.
You can create an online plan in as little as five minutes. Visit: https://www.myfireplan.com.au/
Recovery Services for the Tenterfield Community Recovery Support Service
Service NSW Tenterfield Service NSW Henry Parkes Plaza
182 Rouse St, Tenterfield NSW 2372
Hunter New England Health Service
– Mental Health support and follow up
Farmgate Support Program
After hours: Mental Health line 1800 011 511
NSWRA Disaster Relief Grants
via Service NSW https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-for-the-disaster-relief-grant
Rural Financial Counselling
124a High Street, Tenterfield
Red Cross - 1800733276
Department of Primary Industries
Tenterfield LGA enquiries – transport subsidies, concessional loans for primary producers Jane Munro 0417463451
NRMA Insurance - new and existing claims enquires for NRMA, CGU and WFI
NRMA (www.nrma.com.au) - 13 1123
CGU (www.cgu.com.au) - 13 28 40
WFI (www.wfi.com.au) - 1300 934 934
Need someone to talk to over the holiday season
- Mental wellness during the holiday season (lifeline.org.au)
- practical tips on coping with financial stress: What is financial stress (lifeline.org.au)
See below for our 24/7 Lifeline services, also a handy reminder over the holiday season.
- Lifeline 24/7 Phone: 13 11 14
- Lifeline text 24/7: 0477 13 11 14
- Lifeline online chat 24/7: Crisis Support - Chat | Lifeline Northern NSW (lifelinedirect.org.au)
- Free video counselling: Video Counselling | Lifeline Northern NSW (lifelinedirect.org.au)
- Lifeline Northern NSW Facebook: Lifeline Northern NSW Facebook
- Lifeline New England Facebook: Lifeline New England Facebook
EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR AG & ANIMALS
ASSISTANCE WITH ANIMAL WELFARE ISSUES
The NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) are providing assistance to landholders and communities with animal welfare related issues including:
- Emergency fodder
- Emergency stock water (where there is an immediate animal welfare concern)
- Animal assessment and veterinary assistance
- Stock euthanasia and burial
- Livestock feeding and management advice
- Care of animals including pets and companion animals in evacuation center
For emergency assistance call the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647.
Primary producers should report damage including stock and fodder losses, damage to crops, pastures, fencing and other farm infrastructure through the Natural Disaster Damage Survey. This will ensure we understand the severity and distribution of the damage and can target resources and assistance in the appropriate areas.
For further information click link below.
IF YOUR PROPERTY HAS BEEN AFFECTED BY FIRE COULD YOU PLEASE COMPLETED PRIMARY INDUSTRIES NATURAL DISASTER DAMAGE SURVEY
Primary industries natural disaster damage survey form The primary industries natural disaster damage survey is a simple online survey farmers and agricultural industry representatives can use to record damage to primary production and animals from natural fire disasters .
The damage survey allows you to recording your PIC number allows DPI or LLS staff members to contact you to confirm your requirements. All information provided is private. The survey prevents public users from seeing individual’s information. DPI or LLS staff can only use the information for assisting the community in or after emergencies and are bound by government confidentiality policies.
complete a simple survey the number of crops, animals, infrastructure and other primary industries damaged in a single event
add photos to the assessment
see the severity of damage in your area.
Please contact Need for feed if you are requiring long term fodder https://www.needforfeed.org/
DONATIONS OF GOOD FOR TENTERFILD LGA
GIVIT is a national online non-profit organisation that matches generosity with genuine need. GIVIT is contracted by the New South Wales Government to manage and coordinate offers of donations of items, money and services associated with emergency recovery in NSW. GIVIT is working with recovery organisations across NSW to get exactly what’s needed to people impacted by bushfires.
100% of publicly donated money received by GIVIT’s NSW Bushfires 2023 Appeal will be used to purchase essential items and services for people impacted by bushfires in New South Wales. Wherever possible, GIVIT purchases items, vouchers and services from local businesses to assist with economic recovery of the affected regions.
Bushfire-impacted residents seeking assistance
You must first connect with a support organisation that's registered with GIVIT. These organisations can then place requests for donations of items, vouchers and services on your behalf. You can see relevant organisations registered with GIVIT in the Tenterfield region here.
Support organisations and charities
For charities, support organisations, not-for-profits and schools assisting people in the Tenterfield region affected by bushfires, you can register with GIVIT for free here.
People or businesses wishing to donate money, items or time
For those looking to donate to support people impacted by bushfires, you can see exactly what’s needed here.
Current Recovery available to community are flood/Fire recovery for the Tenterfield LGA.
Please contact our Community Recovery Officer Gina Carpenter
Telephone 02 6736 6000
Direct: 0488 262 658
Web site: www.tenterfield.nsw.gov.au
Facebook page: facebook.com/TenterfieldShireCouncil
Address: Tenterfield Shire Council | PO Box 214 | Tenterfield, NSW, 2372
A Recovery Centre offers more than just support in applying for financial assistance, it’s also a place where affected people can share their concerns with people who understand what you’re going through.
There’s support for your immediate needs as well as information and advice about all the programs that are available from the government, charities and local support services.
Recovery Centre staff are able help you get application processes started and answer questions about your circumstances.
There’s support for individuals, businesses, farmers and landholders. And ongoing help is available over the phone.
Agencies and services at a center may include local council, Disaster Welfare, small business, Red Cross, NSW Health, Legal Aid, Fair Trading, Salvation Army, chaplains and insurers.
A notification will be here if there are recovery centers are open and their location.