Whenever there are disasters one of the first things that people discover is the strength of their community. It highlights the resilience, comradery and hope that community brings even in the most hopeless and challenging of situations. In the time I have spent working within the NSW Landcare community, one of the things that has struck me constantly is that strength.

It is in the simple gestures and moments, whether at workshops, morning teas or simply reaching out to check that your neighbour is going o.k., that are squeezed in between feeding stock or fighting fires. It is in the stories that our local and regional Coordinators share, telling the story of Landcare and how in good times and bad, in the lean years and fruitful ones, Landcarers show up and do the hard work.

Because Landcare is more than a collective movement. It is a community and for many across NSW, it is a family.

So we urge you to reach out to your fellow Landcarers. Whether it’s your local group or even at a regional level, because we need to support one another now more than ever.

But just as importantly, look after yourself. Because the dust will settle and the smoke will clear, and we’ll be beside one another to build and regrow once more.

Please see below for assistance services for communities affected.

Landcare NSW – 0458 168 225

Salvation Army – salvos.org.au/

Lions Clubs –   drought support including fodder – www.needforfeed.org

Drought Angelswww.droughtangels.org.au

Country Women’s Association (CWA) – Disaster Relief Fund – www.cwaofnsw.org.au 

WIRES – 1300 094 737

BlazeAid – 0417 552 116

Mission Australia – www.missionaustralia.com.au/

Anglicare Australia – www.anglicare.asn.au/

Disaster Welfare Assistance Point – DWAPs offer help to bushfire affected people with their immediate needs.

Locations to be found here 

BUSH FIRE RESPONSE – Financial Assistance

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) are now available for eligible people living in bushfires affected LGA’s. The AGDRP is $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children and the Disaster Recovery Allowance provides eligible applicants up to 13 weeks income support. Click here

Additional assistance

The Emergency Fodder Collection Points for bush fire affected landholders at the Glen Innes Showground and Walcha Racecourse, is now open between 8:00am and 4:30pm.

Landholders who need assistance with emergency fodder, water, livestock and domestic animal assessment, should register their request on the Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline on 1800 814 647. The hotline will be open between 8:00am and 8:00pm weekdays and between 8am and 5pm weekends.

Had water taken for fire-fighting and it affects your livestock?

Local Land Services and NSW DPI will evaluate requests from landholders for replacement of water in dams/storages where water has been removed by fire-fighting authorities for fire-fighting purposes or where infrastructure has been damaged during the emergency creating an animal welfare issue.

Evaluation of eligibility of water replacement will include: significance of impact on animal welfare and significance of impact on other agricultural activities.