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Home | Bushfires in Tasmania | Bushfire recovery

Bushfire recovery

[updated 12.50pm, 11 Jan 2013]

More bushfire recovery information will be published on this page as it becomes available.

Also view the web page Returning home after the bushfires.

Important contact information

Help available for those affected by bushfires

The Department of Health and Human Services is providing support for people impacted by Tasmania's bushfires, including housing and health services. See a full list of emergency contacts.

Phone hotlines

The 1800 567 567 hotline can provide information about the fire situation and support services.

A co-ordinated national phone number - 1800 727 077 - is available for registration of people either affected by the fires or searching for missing relatives and friends. 

Bushfire Appeal

Australian Red Cross is coordinating a nationwide appeal to help those impacted by the bushfires in Tasmania. Information is available on the Red Cross website or by calling 1800 811 700.

Air Quality Alerts

http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air

Air quality alerts are active for Hobart and Clearys Gate – these warnings change frequently as the wind shifts.

Animals

Information about injured livestock (not wildlife) is available on the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website.

Phone services

Telstra publishes updates on landline and mobile services.

Specific bushfire updates

Tasmanian Fire Service website

Tasmania Police website

Monitor ABC Local Radio

 

 

Road closures and transport

Access to the Tasman Peninsula and affected areas

[updated 2.30pm, 11 Jan 2013]

Residents, property owners and business operators can return to the Tasman Peninsula from midday today (Friday 11 January 2013). Only those with a genuine need will be allowed access (tourists and media will not be allowed access). Police will have a checkpoint at the intersection between Sugarloaf Road and the Arthur Highway. The speed limit on the Arthur Highway is reduced to 60km/h as fire remains active in the area and work crews are continuing to clear the road and restore power poles.

People returning to their properties are reminded of the public safety hazards that may be present and the need to be cautious, particularly people are discouraged from disturbing ash and dust due to asbestos and other kids.

Personal protection equipment kits and information packs (including health and asbestos advice) will be provided at the police checkpoint and the Workplace Standards bus near the Dunalley Pub.

Counsellors will be available in the affected communities, including onboard the Centrelink bus.

Roads closures

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

There are several reasons why roads will be closed, i.e. because a road is threatened by the fires, in order to assist emergency services, because a road is damaged or if there is danger of falling trees and power poles.

People are reminded that no one should return to an area affected by the bushfires until it is declared safe.

For updates on road closures from Tasmania Police please visit their Community Alerts and Road Closures page.

Hobart International Airport

[updated 3pm, 6 Jan 2013]

The bushfires have had no impact on flights in and out of Tasmania.

Convoys for essential services

[updated 2.30pm, 11 Jan 2013]

There are no further scheduled police escorted convoys for essential services to the Tasman Peninsula. Essential services will be able to access the Arthur Highway as required.

Convoys for the public to leave the Peninsula

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

Due to the Arthur Highway reopening today for Tasman Peninsula residents, there will be no further convoys arranged for transport to the Peninsula.

Bus convoys to pick up vehicles stranded in the Tasman Peninsula

[updated 2.00pm, 11 Jan 2013]

There will not be a bus convoy running today (Friday 11 January).  However, due to need a request from Sorell Police, a further bus transport (1 coach) has been organised for the transport of persons with 'unattended vehicles' on the peninsula to collect their cars.

Arrangements:

  • The coach will be departing Hobart City Hall at 9.00am and opposite Sorell Police Station at 10am on Saturday at 10am on Saturday 12 January.
  • Persons wishing to register must ring 03 62 654 955 between 11am and 4pm today and 8am - 9am tomorrow.
  • Once registered, those persons must assemble at the City Hall or opposite the Sorell Police Station at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

Who will be able to access the Tasman Peninsula?

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

Access will initially be only for Tasman Peninsula residents, shack owners, business owners and those with a genuine need (this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis).

When will the general public be allowed to enter?

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

It is unclear yet, when the general public will be allowed to enter the Tasman Peninsula. This will be at some point after Friday 11 January.

Changed speed zone at the Arthur Highway

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

Please be aware that speed limit on the Arthur Highway has been restricted to 60km/hour.

Can residents come in and out of the Tasman Peninsula once they have returned home?

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

Yes, residents can leave the area once they have gone home.  Initially this will be through the Tasmania Police check point.

Are there any ferries evacuating people?

[updated 8pm, 6 Jan 2013]

There are no ferries currently scheduled to evacuate people from the Tasman Peninsula.  But helping people to evacuate remains a priority.

 

Finding people and recovery centres

Community Fire Refuge Centres have been established at:

  • Sorell Memorial Hall at 47 Cole Street, Sorell
  • Nubeena Civic Centre at Main Road, Nubeena

The refuge centre at Ouse is now closed.

There is a recovery centre at the City Hall, on Macquarie Street in Hobart.

 

Australian Government Mobile Service Unit bus moving through the communities of the Tasman Peninsula

[updated 12.50pm, 11 Jan 2013]

The Department of Human Services has arranged for the Mobile Service Unit bus to travel through communities on the Tasman Peninsula. The Mobile Services Unit is available for anyone who has been adversely affected by the Tasmanian Bushfires to claim the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP).

The Mobile Service Unit can also provide Centrelink customers with information relating to their Income Support Payments and other general enquiries and help with claims for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.

The Mobile Service Unit has a social work staff member available for people wanting to talk about their experiences in relation to the impact on them from the bush fires.

The Mobile Service Unit was located in Sorell on Monday and will move further into the Tasman Peninsula region as it becomes safe for travel within this area.

 

Information about family or friends

[updated 6.30pm, 8 Jan 2013]

You should call 1800 727 077 to register your details if you have been affected by the fires or if you are searching for missing relatives and friends. You can also register online at https://emergency.redcross.org.au

If you have been in Tasmania on vacation or business recently and have returned home, it is still important to register your details with the service so that any family or friends who may be searching for you can get information about your whereabouts. It is also particularly relevant for those people who have relocated from their usual residence to register their details with the service.

Anyone who lives in the affected areas or has recently left the areas is strongly requested to register on 1800 727 077.

At this stage there is still limited ability to search for individuals. In the meantime, continue to contact family and friends and monitor news bulletins - in particular ABC radio.

At this stage, no deaths have been confirmed.

How will people be notified if they are seeking information about another person’s whereabouts?

[updated 12.30pm, 9 Jan 2013]

Red Cross will use their register to match inquiries with registered people. This register can be accessed online at www.redcross.org.au or by phone on 1800 727 077.

If the person you are inquiring about has registered with Red Cross and given them permission to pass out their information, Red Cross will be able to tell you that they are safe.

If the person you are inquiring about has not yet registered with Red Cross or has registered but has not given Red Cross permission to give out information about them, Red Cross will not be able to give you information. However, Red Cross will be able to keep a record of your inquiry so that if the person registers (and gives permission) after you inquire they will be able to get back to you.

Please remember that there are many reasons that people leaving the Peninsula may not have registered. Just because a person has not registered with Red Cross does not mean they are missing.

 

Damage to property

The Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Police are continuing to respond to the fires.

It is known that some houses have been destroyed. We cannot confirm details in relation to individual homes at this time.

 

Donations

[updated 2.30pm, 11 Jan 2013]

What to donate

The best way to help individuals and communities is to donate cash.

This allows individuals and families to purchase what they need most.  It also allows people to spend money in their communities and helps local businesses to recover.

We often want to help by donating second-hand clothing and goods but what we don’t realise is that managing donated goods can take time and resources away from the important work of helping those affected by disaster.

Donated goods also often do not meet actual needs. Recovery organisers will appeal for specific items if needed.

St Vincent De Paul is currently collecting:

  • Toilet packs
  • Essential new clothing
  • Necessities for children and babies
  • Batteries (including 9V)
  • Torches
  • Lanterns
  • First Aid supplies
  • Sunscreen
  • Aeroguard
  • Blankets and bedding

These items can be delivered to the Showgrounds in Glenorchy.

For more information contact St Vincent De Paul (www.vinnies.org.au).

If you wish to make any other donations to St Vincent De Paul please call the Southern Regional Office on (03) 62 344 244.

Farmers will also need volunteers to help with fencing, loading, clearing up and stock work.
You can contact the TFGA on 1800 154 111, visit www.tfga.com.au or email info@tfga.com.au

Making donations

The best way to help is to donate cash y one of the following means:

  • St Vincent de Paul - 131 812 or www.vinnies.org.au
  • Red Cross - 1800 811 700 or www.redcross.org.au
  • Cash or a cheque can be dropped in to any Red Cross offices (retail outlets connot accept donations) or Service Tasmania shops.

St Vincent de Paul is also currently collecting:

  • Toilet packs
  • Essential new clothing
  • Necessities for children and babies
  • Batteries (including 9V)
  • Torches
  • Lanterns
  • First Aid supplies
  • Sunscreen
  • Aeroguard
  • Blankets and bedding

These items can be delivered to the Showgrounds in Glenorchy.
For more information contact St Vincent De Paul (www.vinnies.org.au) or 6333 0822.

TheTasmanian Fermers and Graziers Association (TFGA) have advised that they are in need of donations of:

  • Fodder
  • Fencing Materials
  • Generators
  • Portable yards
  • Livestock crates for transport
  • Agistment for stock
  • Cash

You can contact the TFGA on 1800 154 111, visit www.tfga.com.au or email info@tfga.com.au.

If you wish to make any other donations to St Vincent De Paul please call the Southern Regional Office on (03) 62 344 244.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the Royal Agricultural Society are organising depots to accept donations of fodder and livestock feed. The TFGA can be contacted on 1800 154 111 for further information.

For assistance please contact providers direct or contact the DPIPWE on (03) 6233 6875 and they will direct you to the necessary service.

View the PDF document How Can You Help? PDF icon (PDF, 35KB).

Tax-deductible donations

[11.40am, 8 Jan 2013]

All donations to the Tasmanian bushfires are tax deductible.

The Australian Government has provided tax deductible status to all official relief funds established to help Australians affected by the Tasmanian bushfires.

Donations to Australian disaster relief funds, established to provide relief in the aftermath of the bushfires, will be tax deductible for a period of two years from the date of this declaration (7 January 2013).

 

Volunteer work

[updated 8.30pm, 7 Jan 2013]

Arrangements are being made for the management of people that may wish to assist in the clean-up.

It is critical that people do not go to affected areas offering volunteer support.

Volunteering Tasmania is taking a register of interested people who wish to assist in emergency relief long-term. If you want to help the best thing to do is to call Volunteering Tasmania on 1800 677 895 or (03) 6231 5550 between 9am and 4pm.

How do I know if an individual or organisation collecting money for bushfire victims is legitimate?

[updated 12.45pm, 10 Jan 2013]

In Tasmania, individuals cannot collect money for charity without approval from the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs.

The law requires people who are collecting donations to clearly identify who they are and who they are working for.  If you are concerned about any person collecting money in response to the bushfire, call Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading on 1300 65 44 99 or contact your local Police Station on 131 444.

If you want to donate and to make sure that your money gets to the right people, you should donate only to recognised charities.

In times of crisis it is natural that people want to do something practical to help, and often people want to raise money.  It is unlawful to collect money for charity without the relevant approvals, and it can take some time to gain approval. As such, it is recommended that anyone wishing to help by raising money does so by working with or on behalf of an established charity.

Both the Red Cross and St Vincent de Paul have set up Tasmanian Bushfire Appeals.  More information on these is available from http://redcross.org.au/tasmanian-bushfires-appeal-2013.aspx  and http://www.vinnies.org.au/home-tas

 

How has the bushfire smoke affected the air we breathe?

[updated 8.30pm, 9 Jan 2013]

Smoke levels have triggered air quality alerts in several parts of Tasmania – particularly in the south east of the state – at times over the past week. (To find out about current air quality, visit http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air, which shows real time data from monitoring stations around the State.)

High smoke levels may cause or worsen respiratory (breathing) problems for some people.
Those most at risk are infants, people over 65 years and people with existing lung, heart or breathing conditions. These people should try to avoid unnecessary travel to affected areas. If they are in an area affected by smoke:

  • Avoid strenuous outdoor physical activity – it may cause you to breathe smoke deeply into your lungs.
  • Close windows and doors to keep the smoke out.
  • Use air conditioning if you can. If you have an older air conditioner, switch it to 'recycle' or 'recirculate'.
  • When indoors, minimise other sources of air pollution such as tobacco smoke and woodstoves.
  • If you don’t have air conditioning and your home gets too hot or smoky, consider going somewhere that is air-conditioned.

For information about the health effects of smoke got to the Department of Health and Human Services smoke alert monitoring system at: http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air

To find out about current air quality, visit http://dhhs.tas.gov.au/peh/alerts/air which shows real time data from monitoring stations around the state.

For more information on air monitoring visit the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) website: http://epa.tas.gov.au/epa/real-time-air-quality-data-for-tasmania

 

Support services

Will there be garbage collection services?

[updated 5.30pm, 10 Jan 2013]

Yes. Garbage collection services will be organised by Local Council. However, they may take some time to have in place.

Phone and internet services

[updated 12.45pm, 10 Jan 2013]

Telstra no longer has any impact on its network due to Tasman Peninsula fires. Telstra’s field restoration crew is now turning its attention to repairing the damaged cables connecting exchanges to homes and working with customers and businesses on restoring their services.

Telstra has arranged for a portable communication centre to be established at Dunalley Hotel which is providing free phone and internet services and a location to charge mobile phone batteries. The Telstra communication centre at Dunalley will also be able to assist customers with prepaid phone credit, phones chargers, handsets, sim replacements for people that require them.

Telstra has representatives caring for the communities telecommunication needs at Sorell’s Evacuation Centre (Sorell Memorial Hall, 47 Cole Street).

A number of temporary replacement mobile phones and chargers have been supplied to stores (Sorell – Shop 5 Sorell Plaza, 12 Cole Street and for those evacuated to Hobart – 44-46 Elizabeth Street or Shop 6 Cat & Fiddle Arcade, 51 Murray Street).

If you are an impacted prepaid customer and your mobile credit is running low you should visit either Telstra Stores as above or Telstra’s portable communication centre at Dunalley and they will be able to assist you.

Telstra has also provided Next G® routers at the Nubeena relief centre. Over the next days Telstra will be providing further mobile, satellite or Next G® interim solutions to affected businesses and residents.

At Dunalley and Murdunna the Telstra exchanges are right beside the general stores and Telstra has provided a lead from the generators powering the Telstra exchanges to these stores to keep their fridges going to assist them to supply services to their local communities.

Why can I use my phone to call people but not to access my email or websites?

Currently Telstra are prioritising voice traffic over data traffic.

Power

[updated 6.30pm, 8 Jan 2013]

Efforts are underway to restore limited power service to communities but it’s too early to confirm when those services will be available.

Aurora has advised that customers who have lost electricity supply as a result of the ongoing bushfires should expect lengthy delays as a result of the widespread damage. It could take several weeks in those areas which have been most affected such as Dunalley and Eaglehawk Neck.

You are encouraged to monitor the Aurora Energy website at http://www.auroraenergy.com.au/your-home/electricity/meters-poles-wires/bushfire-emergency-information for updates on power outages and expected restoration times in your area.

Food and water

Food and water is available at the community refuge centres if the path is clear for you to get there.

Counselling

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

Community social workers are in place at the Sorell and Nubeena reruge centres and the recovery centre at the Hobart City Hall.

Help is also available by calling:

  • The Mental Health Helpline on 1800 332 388.
  • Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Contact your GP.
  • HealthDirect on 1800 022 222.

A factsheet on “dealing with stress” is available on the Department of Health and Human Services website at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/emergency_info

Medical help

If you are in a medical emergency, you should hang up and call triple zero.

In addition to the community refuge centres, community health centres are available at Nubeena, Sorell and Ouse to help people with their normal medical conditions.

Medical treatment

[updated 5.30pm, 10 Jan 2013]

Hobart Private Hospital doctors will waive the consultation fee and issues scripts for patients affected by the bushfires until Sunday 13 January 2013.

Contact the Hobart Private Hospital on (03) 6214 3000.

Postal Services

[updated 7pm, 9 Jan 2013]

Australia Post has advised that they will be offering free mail redirections for those unable to have mail delivered to their current address due to fire damage. More information is available at www.auspost.com.au

Emergency housing

[updated 12.30pm, 9 Jan 2013]

A number of community refuge centres have been set up they can refer people in need of accommodation or other services to the appropriate places.

Crisis accommodation for people affected by the bushfires is available by calling 1800 808 340 and ask for emergency housing support.

NOTE: Longer term housing assistance grants are also available by calling 1800 808 340. You can register your interest on this number.

For more information visit www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/emergency_info

Arrangements for schooling

[updated 5.30pm, 10 Jan 2013]

The Department of Education is consulting with the community and will examine all possible options to ensure that Dunalley Primary students start school on 5 February 2013 with a minimum of disruption.

For assistance and further support the Department of Education has established a team to support students and parents and to work with them about returning to school. The team will contact parents of students as soon as possible.

Each student will receive a uniform set as well as coverage of the costs of books and levies.
Parents can also access the services of a departmental social worker during business hours by phoning 0408 539 686 in the event that they require any support and assistance.

Farming and animals

[updated 11.00am, 11 Jan 2013]

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks Water and Environment (DPIPWE) is available to assist with assessment of burnt livestock and available to provide assistance to put down livestock where necessary.

Information on assessment of burnt livestock is available on the DPIPWE website.

For assistance please contact providers direct or contact the DPIPWE on (03) 6233 6875 and they will direct you to the necessary service.

A variety of organisations including private vets and wildlife parks are also volunteering their services and publicising them via local radio and social media, such as Facebook.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the Royal Agricultural Society are organising depots to accept donations of fodder and livestock feed.

For assistance please contact providers direct or contact the DPIPWE on (03) 6233 6875 and they will direct you to where to access the necessary service.

Veterinary services

[updated 5.30pm, 10 Jan 2013]

A veterinary triage and referral centre for animals will commence operation opposite the Dunalley Hotel on Monday 14 Jan 2013. The centre will be staffed by veterinarians providing their services free of charge.

The facility will operate 10am to at least 4pm Monday to Saturday initially for as long as required primarily for fire affected animals and those unable to access their usual veterinary practice. For further information regarding this service contact DPIPWE on (03) 6233 6875.

Helping wildlife affected by bushfires

 

Any members of the public requiring assistance with injured wildlife should contact DPIPWE on (03) 6233 2520 for advice.

DPIPWE manages a network of wildlife carers and works with other volunteer groups and wildlife parks to provide care for injured animals.

If members from the public wish to offer assistance caring for injured wildlife, please contact:

  • Bonorong Wildlife Sancturary (03) 6268 1184
  • Southern Wildlife Rescue and Care on 0415 375 164
  • or DPIPWE on (03) 6233 2520.

A veterinary triage and referral centre for animals will commence operation opposite the Dunalley Hotel on Monday 14 Jan 2013. The centre will be staffed by veterinarians providing their services free of charge. The facility will operate 10:00am to at least 4:00pm Monday to Saturday initially for as long as required primarily for fire affected animals and those unable to access their usual veterinary practice. For further information regarding this service contact DPIPWE on (03) 6233 6875.

 

Evacuation and returning home

[updated 4.30pm, 7 Jan 2013]

I think I need to be evacuated. Where do I go?

If it’s early enough and safe to do so you should leave and go to a safe place such as a community refuge centre.

If you are in immediate danger, you should call triple zero.

Returning home

All information about returning to your home safely can now be found on the Returning Home web page.

 

Fires in specific areas

[12.30am, 9 Jan 2013]

Fire updates

For up to date information refer to the TFS website www.fire.tas.gov.au and listen to ABC local radio.

National Parks

[updated 2.15pm, 7 Jan 2013]

For up to date information on National Parks closures, please visit www.parks.tas.gov.au

 

Tourist information

[updated 3.00pm, 8 Jan 2013]

Travelling to Tasmania

The fires are not affecting the whole state and Tasmania is very much open for visitors. Accommodation providers, attractions and tours and restaurants in unaffected areas continue to welcome many national and international visitors. There is accommodation available in most parts of the state. The airports are open and airlines are operating as normal. If you already have bookings in place it is best to re-confirm with the provider (or agent) and if necessary make alternative arrangements to visit another area of the state.

Visitors already in the state with forward travel plans as well as those planning to visit can also contact one of the Tasmanian Visitor Centres for information and visit Tourism Tasmania’s website www.discovertasmania.com

For your own safety while travelling at any time you should always keep in contact with friends and relatives and let them know of your whereabouts. There are some remote areas of Tasmania you may wish to visit and there is not always mobile phone coverage, so be aware of this and always let people know your travel plans in advance.

Accommodation bookings

If you have booked accommodation in an area affected by the bushfires, how do you find out if you are still able to stay there, or where to find alternative accommodation if necessary?

Visitors seeking alternative accommodation and tourism operators with accommodation available close to affected areas are asked to contact the Tasmanian Visitor Centre on 1800 990 440 or their local visitor centre.

Abandoned hire cars

If you have abandoned a hire car due to the bushfires, you should contact operators directly if you have any concerns or questions about charges as a result of abandoning your vehicle due to the bushfires.

Both Avis and Europcar have formally advised there will be no additional charges applied for those who left the vehicles due to being evacuated. The rental agreements will be closed at the date and time the keys were received.

Hertz advise they are treating each case on its merits. 

Thrifty Car Rentals will not be charging its customers the full amount of their car rental if they have to abandon their vehicle due to an evacuation. Additionally, Thrifty will not be passing on any costs for recovering abandoned vehicles.

Furthermore, Thrifty will not be passing on any costs for recovering abandoned vehicles, nor will it be passing on any costs if cars are destroyed by the bushfires.

 

Insurance and legal advice

[updated 11.40am, 8 Jan 2013]

Insurance claims

Insurance companies will usually want to assess the damage to your property before any repairs are done. Many companies will also want to approve the repairer you are using. If you do decide to go ahead with repairs before making a claim, make sure you have clear before-and-after photos and keep all receipts for the work that is done. You can use these images to show your insurance company the extent of the damage caused to your property by the fire.

Many insurance policies will also require you to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to your property after a natural disaster. This could mean putting a tarp over a damaged roof to prevent further damage from rain or storms, or moving undamaged valuable items to a secure section of the property where they will be safe.

If you have any questions about what you can or can’t do, contact your insurer.

Where can I get insurance advice?

[updated 5.30pm, 10 Jan 2013]

Free initial insurance advice for people affected by the bushfires can be obtained by calling the Insurance Council of Australia’s catastrophe hotline: 1800 734 621.

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today announced a community insurance briefing for local policyholders affected by the Tasmanian bushfires.

The briefing will take place on Monday, 21 January 2013 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm, at the Dunalley Hotel.

It will cover aspects of the recovery process for insured property owners, including claims management, claims assessment and dispute resolution.

The forum will be attended by the ICA, and several insurance companies, plus representatives from the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and Legal Aid.

ICA CEO Rob Whelan said that the forum will provide an opportunity for policyholders to have one-to-one discussions with insurance experts to raise individual claims issues, which can then be escalated to relevant insurers as quickly as possible.

Registration for the event is essential. Policyholders who are interested in attending please visit: www.ica.com.au  

Legal advice

Free initial legal assistance for people affected by the bushfires can be obtained by calling the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania's  Free Telephone Legal Advice Hotline on 1300 366 611.

The Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Law Society, in conjunction with Tasmania's Community Legal Centres, are providing a co-ordinated initial advice service for all people who have been affected by the bushfires.

General information about a range of issues is also available on the Legal Aid Commission's website www.legalaid.tas.gov.au

 

Financial Assistance

Immediate cash assistance

[updated 8.50pm, 8 Jan 2013]

If you are affected by the bushfires you can seek immediate cash assistance of $200 per adult, $100 per child, maximum of $750 per family.

You can seek immediate cash assistance in person at community refuge centres in bushfire-affected areas.

This support is administered by the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payments

[updated 8.50pm, 8 Jan 2013]

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is available to assist people who have been adversely affected by bushfires that began on 3 January 2013 in south-east and east Tasmania. Payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child are available.

For more information call 180 22 66 or visit www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment

This support is administered by the Australian Government.

Housing assistance grants

[updated 8.50pm, 8 Jan 2013]

I you are affected by the bushfires you can access housing assistance grants.  You must register your interest by calling 1800 808 340.

These grants will be means-tested based on income, assets, age, and residential status in line with eligibility for the Private Rental Assistance Scheme.

The following will be available:

  • temporary living grants of up to $8 875 (over a maximum period of 6 months) to assist with living expences;
  • essential household goods grants of up to $5 600 per household (plus $500 per additional household member up to a maximum of $8 875) for costs not covered by insurance, to assist with the replacement of essential household items; and
  • repair/replacement grants of up to $8 875 to assist with the reestablishment of the principal place of residence.

The housing assistance grants will be administered by the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services.

NOTE: These grants are not for emergency housing. For information on emergency housing please call the number given above and ask about emergency housing.

Special arrangements for affected taxpayers – Land Tax

[updated 12.30pm, 9 Jan 2013]

The Commissioner of State Revenue has extended the time to pay Land Tax bills by three months to assist people suffering personal and financial loss from the bushfires.

Taxpayers with billing addresses between and including postcodes 7173 and 7180 do not have to do anything; the extension of time (to Friday 5 April 2013) will be applied automatically.

People with billing addresses outside of the 7173 and 7180 postcodes who have land tax to pay on property lost or damaged in any fire-affected areas of Tasmania should contact the State Revenue Office to access the extension.

For more information and assistance, please phone the State Revenue Office: (03) 6233 8070, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Assistance from Aurora Energy

[updated 7pm, 9 Jan 2013]

Aurora Energy has announced a package of measures to help customers across Tasmania who have been affected by the bushfire emergency.

Residential and business customers whose properties have been destroyed will receive the following assistance:

  • remove any outstanding customer debt on Aurora accounts associated with the property destroyed;
  • an automatic Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment of $160 per customer; and
  • contribution of up to $500 towards any future electricity connection costs for installations associated with properties that are rebuilt.

As well, Pay-As-You-Go customers who lost their properties in the fires will have all their pre-existing prepayment credit returned to them.

Residential and business customers who have lost electricity supply for an extended period in bushfire impacted areas and are eligible for a GSL payment will receive:

  • an automatic credit of $100 on their electricity account to offset any fixed daily charges; and
  • an automatic Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payment of $160 per customer.

These payments will automatically appear on customers’ next accounts. Where it does not appear on the next account, it will appear on the following account.

If customers wish to contact Aurora to register their eligibility for this relief they can call Aurora’s dedicated Bushfire Relief Hotline on 1300 132 006 or complete a form on Aurora’s website www.auroraenergy.com.au

Aurora staff will also be available in Dunalley providing face-to-face information to customers on electricity-related issues at a mobile Customer Information Kiosk, especially commissioned for the relief effort.

In addition, Aurora has suspended the issuing of bills in the bushfire affected areas for the next two weeks.

Can my bank help?

[updated 7pm, 9 Jan 2013]

Individual banks have announced assistance packages to help families, business people, farmers and individuals in the communities affected by bushfires.

The banks’ emergency packages provide practical help by giving immediate financial relief to those in most need of assistance. If someone’s home, income or business has been affected by the fires, they should contact their bank as soon as they are able to.

The best way to contact your bank is to speak to your relationship manager or call your bank’s dedicated support number. These numbers can be found on the ABA website www.bankers.asn.au or at www.doingittough.info along with additional information to assist people that might be experiencing financial difficulty.

 

Tasman Council support

[updated 5.30pm, 10 Jan 2013]

Tasman Council officers will be available to offer Council support regarding financial assistance, planning and enquiries.

They can be found in the caravan at the Murdunna playground between 3:00 and 5:00 pm today, and 11:00 am and 3:00 pm tomorrow. Any queries can be directed to the Council on 6250 9200.

 


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