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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Support for small business owners affected by bushfires

Disaster Recovery Allowance

Assistance is available if you can show you have experienced a loss of income or have been adversely affected as a direct result of the NSW Bushfires from August 2019 through to January 2020.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income. The payment is available in specific local government areas. Call 180 22 66 or visit the Department of Human Services website.

Tax assistance

For businesses affected by natural disasters, Revenue NSW can help with payroll tax. Call 1300 139 815 to find out more.

The Australian Tax Office is offering support to businesses affected by the bushfires and can waive interest charged, set up payment plans with interest free periods and give you more time to pay. Visit the ATO website or call 1800 806 218 to discuss your situation.

Fair Trading

Fair trading can provide information on credit matters to assist people in negotiating repayments with their lenders and fund regional based financial counselling and legal services for people in financial hardship. Provides assistance to businesses regarding fair and ethical practices. Call 13 32 20 or visit the website

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)

ASIC is offering assistance to small businesses that are facing disruption or severe hardship due to the bushfires, including reviewing fees or considering payment options. Find out more.

Utility payments hardship support

Customers experiencing any form of long term or temporary hardship with management of utility accounts are advised to contact their retail provider to discuss payment options as soon as possible. Get help paying energy bills.

Safe Work NSW

Safe Work NSW will replace NSW licences at no cost to those affected by natural disasters. Call 13 10 50 or visit their website.

Service NSW

Service NSW will replace certificates and drivers licences at no cost for those affected by natural disasters. Call 13 77 88 or visit the website for more information.

Motor vehicle stamp duty relief

Motorists whose cars have been written off as a result of a natural disaster may be eligible for a stamp duty refund on their replacement vehicle. Find out more or call 1300 139 814.

Credit and mortgage hardship lines

ANZ Bank: 1800 149 549

Commonwealth Bank business customers: 13 26 07

National Australia Bank Care: 1800 701 599

St George Bank Assist: 1800 629 795

Summerland Credit Union: 1300 802 222

Newcastle Permanent: 13 19 87

Regional Australia Bank Hardship: 132 067

Bank of Queensland: 1800 079 866

Westpac Assist: 1800 067 497

Southern Cross Credit Union: 1300 360 744

ING: 133 464

If your business premises/equipment has been damaged or destroyed

Disaster Recovery Grants

Grants of up to $15,000 are available if your business has been directly affected by bushfire. Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit the website.

Natural Disaster Relief Loans

The Natural Disaster Relief Scheme assists Small Business Operators directly affected by a declared natural disaster. Small businesses who have been directly affected by a declared natural disaster including floods, fires or storm damage, may be eligible for low interest loans of up to $130,000. Visit the website for more information and loan guidelines.

Insurance and legal support

Our Insurance claims for small business guide has been developed to help small business owners in the recovery phase, guiding them through the often complicated insurance claims process and providing advice if they encounter issues with providers.

Insurance Council of Australia can also assist policy holders determine which insurer they are with and assisting with general inquiries about the claims process. Call 1300 728 228 or visit the website

Legal Aid NSW is currently providing free, practical legal assistance to help people impacted by the bushfires recover and rebuild. Contact the LawAccess NSW Disaster Response Hotline on 1800 801 529 or visit the website.

To find out about other sources of legal support, visit the Service NSW website.


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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