The NSW Reconstruction Authority is opening a Recovery Centre at the Bermagui Surf Club from today (Wednesdasy October 11) to support communities in and around the Bega Valley Shire recover from the Coolagolite bushfire.
Fire-affected residents and organisations are encouraged to visit the Recovery Centre, which brings together NSW and local government agencies, community organisations and welfare bodies under one roof.
Multi-agency recovery centres provide access to important support services for disaster-affected individuals, families, farmers and business owners to help them heal and begin the clean-up and recovery process.
Attendees can access mental health first aid and meet with a range of not-for-profits, and Government and community organisations, including:
-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 Business Concierge
-Rural Financial Counselling Service
Located at 1 Lamont Street, the Bermagui Recovery Centre will open during the following hours:
-Wednesday 11 October, 10am–4pm
-Thursday 12 October, 12pm–7pm
-Friday 13 October, 10am–4pm
A barbecue will be held at the Recovery Centre on Thursday 12 October between 4.30pm – 6.30pm where community can gather, check on neighbours and access support.
Anyone not able to attend the Recovery Centre can contact Service NSW for remote assistance, with Customer Care specialists available on the phone via 13 77 88. Specialist mental health Bushfire Recovery Clinicians are also available by calling 1800 011 511.
For anyone wanting to donate aid, Bega Valley Shire Council has launched a donations appeal while goods and services can be pledged through GIVIT.org.au.
Last week the NSW and Australian Governments made a disaster declaration for the area, opening up access to a range of special assistance measures for bushfire-affected communities, provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Grants and loans are available for primary producers, small businesses, sporting and recreation clubs and not-for-profit organisations impacted by the bushfire.
Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:
“This is a challenging and emotional time for all in the community, with many of them affected by the Black Summer Bushfires.”
“Our local coordination officers are based in the region and working closely with Bega Valley Shire Council and local support services to provide the community with the help they need.”
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:
“We know providing face-to-face support is crucial in the early stages of recovery, so we encourage anyone bushfire-affected to visit our team at the Recovery Centre to ask questions and find out what support they may be eligible for.”
“It’s normal to experience a range of emotions after a bushfire and we will always have someone available who can link people with additional support services such as the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network, Salvation Army, Business Concierge, Anglicare and Rural Financial Counselling Service.”
Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Regional Health Dr Michael Holland said:
“I would encourage anyone who needs assistance or support to attend the Recovery Centre, community members can access a diverse range of services from clean-up to mental health support.”
Images: Bermagui Surf Lifesaving Club, Sarah Gash