11 October 2023

Bushfire Recovery Centre opens in Bermagui for residents affected by Coolagolite fire

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Bushfire smoke

Smoke from the Coolagolite fire. Photo: Facebook, NSW RFS – Tathra Brigade.

Bega Valley and Sapphire Coast residents affected by the Coolagolite Road bushfire earlier this month can visit a temporary Bushfire Recovery Centre which has been set up in Bermagui this week.

Organised by the NSW Reconstruction Authority, the centre brings together NSW and local government agencies, community organisations and welfare bodies under one roof.

Residents seeking assistance can access mental health first aid, and meet with a range of not-for-profits and Government and community organisations. These include:

  • NRMA Insurance, CGU, WFI
  • Legal Aid NSW
  • Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network
  • NSW Health (for mental health and health checks)
  • Australian Red Cross
  • The Salvation Army
  • Service NSW
  • Service NSW Business Concierge
  • Anglicare (Bega)
  • Rural Financial Counselling Service
  • Rural Aid.

The centre is located at 1 Lamont Street in Bermagui, and will be open on Wednesday 11 October from 10 am to 4 pm, Thursday 12 October from midday to 7 pm, and Friday 13 October from 10 am to 4 pm.

READ ALSO Government assistance available as Coolagolite fire brought under control

A community barbecue will also be held at the centre on Thursday between 4:30 and 6:30 pm.

If affected residents are unable to attend the Bushfire Recovery Centre, assistance is available through Service NSW Customer Care specialists on the phone via 13 77 88. Specialist mental health bushfire recovery clinicians are also available by calling 1800 011 511.

As About Regional reported last week, the NSW Government announced that disaster assistance would be made available as a result of the bushfire through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

NSW Emergency Services Minister Jihad Dib said the assistance would support communities, landowners, farmers, and primary producers to help in the cleanup and recovery from the bushfires.

“It is important that we open up this funding and support so impacted councils and some residents get their lives back on track,” he said.

Apart from the services at the Bushfire Recovery Centre, assistance available under the DRFA may include:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply)
  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers, and non-profit organisations
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers.

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