NSW Bushfires

LGNSW offers thanks to the mayors, councillors, council staff and emergency services personnel who have shown such dedication to their communities during the ongoing bushfires emergency.

Detailed information on the status of the fires can be viewed at the Rural Fire Service Website

Visit Live Traffic NSW for information on road closures and other travel information. 

Office of Emergency Management recovery information for affected communities

How to protect yourself and others from bushfire smoke (see fact sheet

NSW Planning, Industry and Environment Air Quality Concentration Data (updated hourly)  


Assistance for councils

Local, state and federal governments are working together to plan and fund rebuild efforts and the huge task of supporting bush fire affected councils to coordinate and resource clean-up and recovery.

We welcome the appointment of National Recovery Coordinator Andrew Colvin APM OAM who is leading the Federal government’s National Bushfire Recovery Agency – part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and reporting to Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud.

We also continue to work closely with the Office of Emergency Management and other State agencies.

The Federal Government has announced an initial $60 million will be distributed across 42 local government areas, with each council getting an initial $1 million. A further $18 million is to be distributed at the discretion of the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency, to allow for road and bridge repairs, and the reconstruction of local infrastructure including child care centres, sporting facilities, and cycleways. Full details can be found in the Prime Minister's media release.

The NSW Government has announced $1 billion (in addition to the $231 million already committed) over the next two years to rebuild bushfire impacted communities. This funding will prioritise the repair, rebuild and improvement to infrastructure, such as roads, rail-lines, bridges, schools, health facilities and communications facilities, which have been damaged or destroyed by bushfires. The government has also waived the waste levy for bushfire waste generated in 32 council areas (view the list of applicable council areas). All other waste disposal costs will apply. Check with the waste facility in advance to determine the exact cost.

Avenues for Commonwealth bushfire support for Local Government


Recovery efforts

Bushfire-affected councils require a range of resources including logistics and communications, tree management, planning, cleaning, waste services, and engineering and infrastructure support.

Local Government Bushfire Recovery Support Group

LGNSW is a member of the Local Government Bushfire Recovery Support Group, which is collecting and coordinating offers of support from councils so they can be matched to the areas where support is needed, when it is needed. The support group provides:

  • a database of services and resources being offered by local government.
  • a matching service between councils offering support and councils requiring support.
  • general guidance on potential risks and safe methods of work.
  • connection to organisations that can provide advice on supporting disaster recovery.

It is important that all offers of support and coordinated, and duplication minimised. All non-bushfire affected councils offering assistance should register with the Local Government Bushfire Recovery Support Group by emailing recovery@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au or call 02 9246 7709.

Asbestos hazards when returning home after a bushfire


What you need to know about processing of rates payments and clean-up

The State and Federal Governments are covering the cost of the clean-up for insured and uninsured property owners (residences, small business or primary production properties).

Rates: Service NSW will pay the full cost of council rates for the third and fourth quarters of this financial year for people who have lost their homes and businesses, including providing refunds to those people who have already paid. You can refer residents to Service NSW for further information or they can visit a Service NSW centre.


Clean-up: Safety is the number one priority. Contractor Laing O’Rourke Australia is leading the clean-up and charged with ensuring communities are not exposed to contamination or any hazardous materials including asbestos. They'll be engaging local contractors and local suppliers, where possible.

People should register for bushfire clean up now by visiting the Service NSW website.

Local suppliers can also sign up to help via the bushfire-affected communities rebuild portal . Regional suppliers are also encouraged to register, even if they are from areas not affected by bushfires and especially if they are from drought-affected regions.


Charitable donations and GIVIT

Following a disaster, our spirit of generosity and desire to help those impacted is a wonderful thing. However, we need to be careful that we only donate things that are actually needed by our impacted communities. 

The best way to help our impacted communities is to donate money to one of the many charities or appeals that have been established. Money gives people the choice to buy things they need and support local businesses that have also been impacted. 

If you wish to donate to fire affected communities, here are the main groups working on the ground and accepting donations:

NSW Rural Fire Service

The Salvation Army disaster appeal - 137 258

The Australian Red Cross - 1800 733 276

The St Vincent de Paul Society  - 131 812

Lions Clubs are raising money for victims and firefighters on the Mid North Coast. 

Koalas in Carethe Rescue Collective and WIRES  

GoFundme also features a number of local fund raisers for affected families and communities.

On 16 January 2020 the NSW Government announced it had commissioned national not-for-profit organisation GIVIT to coordinate the donation of much-needed goods and services.

GIVIT works with councils, charities and community groups as a virtual warehouse, matching donations to recipients in need of a particular item or service. This reduces the financial and administrative burden of sorting through and storing goods that may not be wanted, while still ensuring that those in need get the assistance they need. It also links residents seeking assistance to trusted local support services via an online hub.

All monetary donations received by GIVIT are used to buy essential items from local businesses to help generate local economic recovery.

LGNSW has welcomed the NSW Government making this service available to all councils, free of charge.

An information pack as well as social media assets and messaging are available online or by contacting GIVIT by email at nsw@givit.org.au for information.


Other useful links

For more information about recovery arrangements it is recommended you visit the Office of Emergency Management Website

Service NSW Bushfire Customer Care service

Community Information

Evacuation and Recovery Centres

Natural Disaster Assistance Schemes

Disaster Assistance for Individuals


Psychological Assistance

National Bushfire Recovery Agency - Federal Government agency

Bushfire Housing Assistance Service - Or call 1800 018 444

Nature Conservation Council - Tips for managing land and helping wildlife after a fire

Economic Development Australia



NSW Disaster Recovery video