How the bushfire recovery funding is being spent

July deadline for bushfire clean-up and inquiry


It's been eight months since the start of an unprecedented bushfire season, with close to $3.5 billion committed to bushfire recovery, including $2.3 billion from the NSW Government.


The end of July is the expected date for when the bushfire property clean up will be completed and the report from the inquiry will be submitted to Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

It's been eight months since the start of an unprecedented bushfire season, with close to $3.5 billion committed to bushfire recovery, including $2.3 billion from the NSW Government.

So far the NSW Government has reached the ambitious target of clearing 2800 properties by June 30, but there is sill work to do with another 900 properties to go, which are expected to be done by the end of July.

In the "NSW bushfire recovery: supporting NSW communities following the 2019-2020 bushfires" report, that goes live today on the Resiliance NSW website, is a full summary of all the support that has been offered to date. It will then be a quarterly report as the state transitions from the recovery to rebuild phase.

In today's report it states more than $91 million has been paid out in $75,000 primary industry grants, which are designed to help get farmers the equipment they need to start rebuilding.

There has been more than $38 million in disaster loans for primary producers and businesses, with bushfire working capital loans of up to $50,000 and low interest loans of up to $500,000 available to eligible small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profits in bushfire affected council areas.

In addition there has been more than $8 million in assistance for 3237 rural landholders to repair 2679 kilometres of fencing adjoining crown land.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said it had been a huge challenge in cleaning up impacted properties, but Laing O'Rourke, the company coordinating the clean up, had done a great job in managing the process in a way that was respectful and sensitive to the land owners who lost their homes.

"Communities across NSW have been to hell and back with the devastating fires that tore through their towns only a short time ago," Mr Barilaro said.

Mr Barilaro said there was no cut-off date for support for anyone impacted by bushfires.

Meanwhile, a report into the independent inquiry of the bushires is expected to be submitted to the Premier at the end of July.

The NSW Government announced the inquiry on January 30 that former Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police Force, Dave Owens, and Independent Planning Commission chair and former NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Professor Mary O'Kane, would lead a six-month independent inquiry of the bushfires.

Submissions to the inquiry opened on February 10 and were extended to May 22, with community meetings ending on May 13.

"In terms of the current bushfire Inquiry, I have made no secret of the fact that land management is a huge issue on the ground in bushfire affected areas. I personally made a submission to the inquiry raising this issue and I look forward to the recommendations of the inquiry," Mr Barilaro said.

Guide to bushfire recovery funding and support

  • More than $193 million paid out in $10,000 small business grants. These were grants paid to small businesses in the 30 most affected LGAs. Businesses must have experienced a 40 per cent drop in revenue over a three-month period, compared to the previous year, due to the bushfires.
  • More than $44 million paid out in up to $50,000 small business grants. These grants of up to $50,000 were available for eligible small businesses and non-profit organisations with direct damage to their premises, equipment or stock from the bushfires and can help to pay for repairs.
  • More than $15 million has been spent on providing health and wellbeing support, with additional mental health clinicians working with affected people
  • More than $4 million in disaster welfare grants have been paid out. These were for people with limited financial resources and no insurance may receive a financial contribution from Resilience NSW to cover homes and essential household contents damaged or destroyed by the bushfires. To date, funding has paid for temporary accommodation and household contents.
  • There has been $140 million for the Bushfire Industry Recovery Package. This targeted grants available to help the forestry, horticulture, apiculture, aquaculture, viticulture and dairy industries retain and create jobs and support them to rebuild, recover and regrow.
  • Almost $2.5 million has been paid out in rate relief.
  • More than 8000 people have been placed in emergency accommodation since November with almost $2.5 million spent for more than 18,000 room nights.
  • Almost 200 pods through a partnership with Minderoo Foundation and NSW Government are being rolled out to communities who need to stay on their land, with more than 60 on the ground.
  • $1 billion commitment to rebuild public infrastructure. This funding is to prioritise the repair and rebuild of vital infrastructure, such as roads, rail-lines, bridges, schools, health facilities and communications facilities damaged or destroyed by bushfires.
  • There has been $10 million spent on a marketing campaign from Destination NSW. Destination NSW launched a new community-driven campaign, 'Now's the Time to Love NSW'.
  • Payments up to $250,000 to local councils impacted by bushfire for small scale local activities that will kick-start the social and economic recovery of their communities.
  • The NSW Government has provided stamp duty relief of up to $55,000 for people who lost their homes in the fires and choose to purchase a replacement home elsewhere.
  • More than $215,000 support in free taint-tests for grape growers. These are rebates of up to $1200 per producer/ grower for NSW.
  • There has been $8.5 million committed to Operation Outreach, which is a dedicated program made up of Resilience NSW, Service NSW, local councils, the Red Cross and locally embedded recovery services which will actively seek out bushfire-impacted families and individuals to ensure they are utilising the support available and offer case management support.

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