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Bega: Support for households in temporary accommodation on bushfire-affected land

Of the 467 dwellings that were lost in the Black Summer fires, only 34 have been rebuilt so far

Bega Valley Shire Council has unanimously agreed to extend support for residents who lost their homes in the Black Summer bushfires, allowing residents to stay on their land in temporary accommodation for another two years under certain conditions.

This is in response to the upcoming expiry of the two-year grace period provided by the NSW Government following the fires.

Council’s Director Community, Environment and Planning, Alice Howe acknowledged that for many, the recovery journey is still ongoing.

“The Bega Valley Shire was the most disaster affected local government area in Australia last year,” Dr Howe said.

“Since the devastating Black Summer bushfires, we’ve had a number of floods as well as the ongoing impact of COVID-19—all of which have had a compounding effect for many in our community, particularly those who were directly impacted by the fires.

“Of the 467 dwellings that were lost in the Black Summer fires, only 34 have been rebuilt so far, with development approved for another 78 dwellings.

“While some people have chosen to move to a new property or out of the area, there are still a number of people who have chosen to stay on their land in a caravan or temporary pod.

“Yesterday’s Council decision provides an assurance that if you lost your home in the Black Summer bushfires, you can continue to live on your land in a temporary dwelling for another two years while you work through the development assessment process.”

As of October 2021, Council had received a total of 117 development applications for dwelling rebuilds and issued 112 development consents.

For more information on whether this applies to your particular circumstances, please contact Council’s DA Hub on (02) 6499 2209.