Bushfire Relief Grants

If you or anyone you know has been affected by the bushfires, help is available in the form of Commonwealth and State grants as well as counselling services.  If you need assistance in understanding what is open to you, please contact Zali's Grants Officer.

Volunteer Firefighters’ Financial Support Program

This program aims to help volunteer firefighters who have put time into volunteering in the current fire season and have incurred a financial cost.

Payments of up to $300 per day, with a total cap of $6000, will be available in the 2019-20 financial year. The payments are tax-free and not means-tested.
The Australian Government will cover the costs of the grant payments. The NSW Government will administer the payments.

Eligible applicants include volunteer firefighters who:

  • Are from a recognised firefighting organisation in NSW.
  • Have been volunteering as part of an operational response to bushfires for more than 10 days since 1 July 2019. This can include reasonable travel and recovery time but does not include training or participating in non-emergency operations (for example, hazard reduction burns).
  • Are self-employed or employed by a small or medium business, and has lost income.

Volunteer firefighters can include farmers, small business owners, tradies and contract workers in rural and regional areas who have been hit especially hard by this fire season.

If you'd like to register for a financial support payment, you can do so online here.

Natural Disaster Recovery Relief Grant

Natural disaster recovery grants provide up to $15, 000 in immediate relief to eligible primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations, to cover clean-up and restoration costs from the NSW bushfires.

RAA administers these grants under the joint Commonwealth and NSW government-funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

To apply online, please click here.

NSW Bushfires - Australian Government Recovery Payment

This grant supports people adversely affected by bushfires in NSW from August 2019 to January 2020.

It is a one-off payment.  People have until 5 July 2020 to make a claim.

You need to have been adversely affected by the fire, for example:

  • you have been seriously injured
  • you are an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died
  • your principal place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
  • the interior of your principal place of residence has sustained major damage
  • damage from the fire has exposed the interior of your principal place of residence to the elements
  • your principal place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
  • the interior of your residence has been affected by sewage contamination
  • you are the principal carer of a dependent child who has experienced any of the above.

This payment does not include holiday homes or investment properties.  Couples need to complete a separate claim so that they can both receive the payment.

If you are eligible, you will receive $1000 per adult and $400 per child younger than 16.

The fastest way to claim is over the phone.  Please call 180 2266.  For more information, please click here.

Disaster Recovery Allowance for NSW Bushfires

This allowance is a short-term payment to provide support for people who have lost income as a direct result of the bushfires in New South Wales from August 2019 through to January 2020. 

Eligible persons can claim for a maximum of 13 weeks, payable from the date they lose income as a direct result of the NSW bushfires.  People have until 1 July, 2020 to make a claim.

Disaster Recovery Allowance is a taxable payment. People can ask for voluntary tax deductions to be withheld from their payments. Recipients might be able to access the Beneficiary Tax Offset which may reduce the amount of tax paid.  Please contact the Australian Taxation Office to find out more about this.

The maximum payment rate is the equivalent of Newstart or Youth Allowance, based on the individual's circumstances. The rate of payment will be affected by income prior to and following the disaster.

For a list of eligible areas, income threshold amounts and information on how to apply, please click here.

Transport Subsidy (Donated Fodder)

This grant provides assistance to community organisations who co-ordinate the transport of donated fodder to a central location within NSW for the benefit of three or more primary producers with livestock in the event of drought or following a natural disaster.   For more information, please click here.

Transport Subsidy (Natural Disaster)

This program provides a subsidy on the transport of fodder and/or water to a property, stock to/from agistment and stock to sale or slaughter following a declared Natural Disaster event, where there is a threat to livestock safety and welfare.

A subsidy of up to 50% of the total freight cost to a maximum of $15,000 per farm enterprise per financial year is available. The $15,000 is counted within a financial year from the date when the payment is made to the applicant.

Subsidies are only available during the six month period following the declaration of a natural disaster area with the first movement to take place during the first three months of the declaration period. Claims may be submitted no more than six months after the first movement.  For more information, please click here.

Transport Subsidy (Animal Welfare)

This program aims to provide a subsidy on the transport of stock to sale or slaughter for animal welfare reasons.

A subsidy is permanently available where:
- Animals are at significant risk in terms of animal welfare.
- There is little or no feed and/or water available. (This includes both pasture and stored fodder).
- Animals leave the farming enterprise permanently.
- The enterprise demonstrates a significant financial need.

A subsidy of up to 50% of the total freight cost to a maximum of $20,000 per farm enterprise per financial year is available.

Claims may be submitted no more than six months after the movement of the stock.  For more information, please click here.

Relief and Recovery Directory for those affected by the bushfires

Immediate Emergency Assistance via Evacuation Centres and Disaster Welfare Assistance Points 1800 018 444 or visit

Emergency Transport Accommodation for short-term housing support 1800 422 322

Clean-up Assistance for cleaning up homes damaged or destroyed by recent fires: Insured Homes call your insurance company or Insurance Council of Australia 1800 734 621; Uninsured homes call 1800 88 55 39

Animal Welfare for emergency fodder, stock water and stock assessment 1800 814 647

Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Payment $1000 per adult and $400 per child 180 22 66

Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Allowance for short-term income 180 22 66

NSW Government Disaster Relief for low-income earners 1800 018 444

Primary Producer Assistance up to $15000 recovery grants, concessional loans and transport subsidies 1800 678 593

Small Business Assistance up to $15000 recovery grants and concessional loans 1800 678 593

Legal Assistance provided free of charge on insurance policies, employment, tenancy, credit and debt 1300 888 529

Potable Water Assistance for those not on town water supply where RFS has taken water or contaminated roofs with fire retardant 1800 018 444

Mental Health and Wellbeing Assistance 24/7 call 1800 011 511, Lifeline 13 11 14; Beyond Blue 1300 224 636; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; Emergency 000

Farm Gate Councillors 1800 011 511

Sporting Club Assistance 1800 678 593

Church and Non-profit Organisation Assistance up to $15000 recovery grants and concessional loans 1800 678 593

Motor Vehicle Stamp Duty Relief if your car has been written off by bushfires 1300 139 814

Replacement of Documents including free replacement of licences, permits, certificates including birth, marriage, change of name and NSW Fair Trading permits/licences 13 77 88

Waste Disposal waived - please contact your local Council.


Photo: RFS online