2019-20 bushfire recovery

The Clarence Valley was one of the areas hardest hit by the devastating 2019-20 bushfires. In our region alone, 168 homes were destroyed and many more properties and homes were damaged. Recovery from such an event doesn't happen overnight, but we're committed to helping our affected residents return to life as usual through a range of community initiatives and access to support services. 

Community outreach

In the 2 years after the 2019-20 bushfires, we coordinated several community outreach events to bring together different service providers to support recovery in the most impacted communities. In 2022 we are focusing on disaster resilience with our new Resilient Clarence program.

Government grants

The NSW Bushfire Customer Care Service provides one-on-one support for people and businesses. They can help you navigate the assistance that is available across all levels of government. Call them on 13 77 88 or visit their website.

For up-to-date information about other available assistance and support, see Service NSW’s list of non-government organisations.

Rebuilding or repairing your house

You'll need to submit a Development Application and receive council approval before building a new home, rebuilding, or making major repairs. We have waived DA fees for the replacement of homes lost to the fires and have been prioritising the processing of those DA's. 

Our Local Environmental Plan is also updated to ensure that development applications can always be made for any lawfully built houses or secondary dwellings affected by natural disasters.

Managing waste

The NSW Government has been coordinating the clean-up of NSW residences and businesses impacted by the NSW bushfires. This included both insured and uninsured properties, and affected residents could opt-in online
For not yet cleared properties that may contain asbestos, please be aware burnt asbestos is incredibly dangerous. Search for a Licenced Asbestos Removal Contractor (for burned asbestos, companies must have a Class A - Friable Licence).

Do you need support?

The effects of a bushfire can be felt long after the embers have burnt out. Check in on your friends and neighbours, and if you or someone you know needs help, reach out. The following are free services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
  • MensLine Australia: 1300 78 9978
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • NSW Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Suicide call back service: 1300 659 467
  • Standby (support after suicide): 0417 119 298
  • Northern NSW Connect to Wellbeing (a free service for people impacted by fires and droughts, no GP referral needed): 1300 160 339