Bushfire Assistance & Support

What is an emergency alert?

An emergency alert is the national telephone-based system that the State Disaster Coordination Centre use to send messages to landlines and mobile phones to warn people of dangerous weather and possible severe impacts. The decision to send an emergency alert is based on certainty, severity, timeframe, frequency, and action.

You do not need to register to receive an emergency alert. 

Emergency alert messages are sent from: +61 444 444 444

These messages are not a scam and are official text messages from the Queensland State Disaster Coordination Centre as part of the national geo-targeting emergency alert system.

If you receive an emergency alert and want more information, follow the instructions in the message.  

To view current emergency alerts, click here

Please note these funding opportunities include both grants for bushfire prevention and recovery, along with more immediate disaster response grants. When it comes to disaster response the exact details of assistance packages available are constantly evolving and changing so these were available at time of publication

Commonwealth – State
Primary producers can now apply for concessional interest rate loans to help replace or repair assets that have been significantly damaged by a recognised disaster. This includes loss of significant income, to recover and return to viable operations.
Impacted primary producers can also apply for freight subsidies, to assist with the transport of livestock, fodder, or water for livestock, along with building, fencing equipment or machinery to the primary producer’s home property.
The assistance is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for nine Local Government Areas:
• Bundaberg Regional Council
• Central Highlands Regional Council
• Gladstone Regional Council
• Maranoa Regional Council
• North Burnett Regional Council
• South Burnett Regional Council
• Southern Downs Regional Council
• Toowoomba Regional Council
• Western Downs Regional Council
Help is also available for 13 Queensland councils to undertake Counter Disaster Operations like firefighting and recovery operations, aimed at protecting the public and ensuring public health and safety.
For more information about Primary Producer and Essential Working Capital Loans, contact the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority on 1800 623 946 or visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au
For more information about freight subsidies, contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 or visit www.daf.qld.gov.au
Additional information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s website at www.qra.qld.gov.au.

National Assistance

Disaster Recovery Allowance

Payments and help for people directly affected by bushfires, floods, or other natural disasters.

Support for people affected by the bushfires in Queensland has been announced. Claims open on Tuesday 31 October 2023 at 2 pm and can be made online. More information will be available soon.


Salvation Army – Disaster & Emergency Support

The Salvation Army offers a range of services and assistance measures to help people who have been impacted by bushfires including:

  • Financial assistance
  • Emotional wellbeing and support services
  • Information, referrals and advice.


Local Council Support

Many local councils are offering their own range of support, such as waiving development application fees and rates deferment. Reach out to your local council to find out the support options they are offering.

Strengthening Rural Communities – Prepare & Recover

Supports communities in remote, rural, and regional communities across Australia to implement initiatives that prevent and prepare for future climate related impacts or recover from existing disasters through the medium to long term process.

Grants up to $25,000 are available for a broad range of initiatives to strengthen the capacity and capability of local people, organisations, networks, and systems that help communities to be informed, skilled, connected and resourced for the future.


Disaster Recovery Quick Response Grants

Assists any Indigenous corporation whose property has been directly affected by a declared natural disaster, such as a flood, bushfire, or cyclone. Indigenous corporations (incorporated) may be eligible for assistance through the program if:

  • Their property is within a State or Territory declared natural disaster area.
  • They require immediate assistance to make their property safe to access.

The funding can be used for immediate clean-up of your property, work to make your property safe, and purchase plant and equipment to assist with recovery efforts.


Quick Response Grants

Provides support for researchers to travel to areas affected by natural disasters to ensure that the impacts and perishable data are captured in a timely manner. This can help to identify significant research questions arising from major natural hazards and provide a context for developing more extensive research proposals.  Funding support is limited to $2,500 (excluding GST) per team for any individual event. 


Tradies for Fire Affected Communities

TFFAC was born as a place for tradies of all disciplines around the country, to put their hand up and donate their time and skills to those affected by these devastating bushfires.



Blaze Aid

 A volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Working alongside rural families, our volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.



Legal Aid Queensland Natural Disaster Legal Help

Our lawyers can help people with their legal problems stemming from the bushfires. Whether someone is having problems with an insurance claim, struggling to pay the bills because of lost work due to the fires, or even family law issues, we can help.

People can call the Legal Aid Queensland Natural Disaster Legal Help Line on 1300 527 700 to speak to a lawyer about their legal problems.

We encourage those who have insurance policies and whose properties have been impacted by the fires to take these actions:

  • Lodge their claims as soon as possible.
  • Write down what you’ve experienced so you can provide that information to insurance assessors. Do this as soon as you can so you don’t forget any important points.
  • Once it’s safe to return to the site, write a list of the property destroyed or damaged, and take photographs or video of the affected property, to support your claim.
  • Apply for any state and Commonwealth grants that you may qualify for.

You can visit the Legal Aid Queensland website for more information.  

Emergency Hardship Assistance

The Emergency Hardship Assistance Grant is available as a contribution to support people directly impacted by a disaster to meet their immediate essential needs. You can apply for $180 per person, up to $900 for a family of 5 or more, to help purchase food, clothing and medical supplies or secure temporary accommodation.


Essential Services Hardship Assistance Grant

The Essential Services Hardship Assistance (ESHA) grant helps people who have lost one or more essential services (i.e. electricity, gas, water or sewerage) at their home for more than 5 consecutive days due to a disaster. You can apply for $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of 5 or more, to assist with your immediate essential needs following loss of essential service/s at your home for more than 5 consecutive days. 


Essential Household Contents Grant

The Essential Household Contents Grant (EHCG) helps people who are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, and who meet an income test, by providing a contribution towards repairing or replacing essential household contents that have been damaged or lost in a disaster.


Structural Assistance Grant

The Structural Assistance Grant (SAG) helps people who are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, and who meet an income test, by providing a contribution towards repairs to their home to make it safe, secure and habitable following damage by a disaster. Uninsured, low income, owner-occupiers may receive up to a maximum of $50,000 to help repair your home to make it safe, secure and habitable.


Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant

The Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Scheme (ESSRS) grant helps people who are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, and who meet an income test, by providing a contribution towards inspecting, repairing and reconnecting essential services (i.e. electricity, gas, water or sewerage) that were damaged by a disaster.


Transport & Motoring Assistance

If you live in a Queensland disaster-activated area, you may be eligible to apply for transport and motoring assistance for:

  • vehicle registration assistance
  • licensing and other transport and motoring products


RACQ Foundation Community Grant Program

Gives community groups, charities, and sporting clubs the opportunity to rebuild after cyclones, severe storms, bushfires and drought. RACQ Foundation helps impacted community groups recover from flooding, weather events, drought, bushfire, and other natural disasters. Applications to the RACQ Foundation are expected to be for amounts of up to $50,000, with grants of up to $100,000 considered in exceptional circumstances only. 

More here: https://www.racq.com.au/about-us/community/racq-foundation 

Emergency & Disaster Funding

The James Frizelle Charitable Foundation provides relief for all types of natural disasters including support of the volunteer brigades called upon in times of need particularly during fires and floods. Consideration is also given in this program to natural disasters occurring beyond the geographical boundaries normally supported.

More here: https://jamesfrizelle.org.au/our-partnership/ 

Mental Illness

Mental illness is a general term that refers to a group of illnesses affecting the mind, in the same way that physical illness affects the body.

A mental illness is a clinically diagnosable illness that affects a person’s thinking, emotional state or social abilities. It may disrupt their ability to work, carry out daily activities or have satisfying personal relationships.

Just as all people are different, so too are the types of mental illness and their impact. Some people may require support for a short amount of time whereas others may need life-long support.

Often people experience mental illness for a long time before finding help.

About 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness in any given year, and almost half will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

What causes mental Illness?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to a mental illness, such as:

  • a chemical imbalance in the brain
  • stressful life events
  • drug use.

Need help now? Call Triple Zero (000) or go to a hospital if you are in immediate danger.

If you or someone you care about is distressed, in crisis, suicidal or needs someone to talk to, help is available. The following services provide confidential, non-judgemental support.

Health professionals

Talk to your doctor about your concerns and ask for an assessment or referral. Some general practitioners (GPs) have additional training and expertise in mental health.

Phone the mental health access line 1300 MH CALL (1300 642 255), a confidential mental health telephone triage service for Queenslanders that provides the first point of contact to public mental health services.

Adis 24/7 Alcohol and Drug Support is a is a 24 hour, 7 day a week confidential counselling, information and referral service for people in Queensland with alcohol and other drug concerns, their loved ones and health professionals. Ph: 1800 177 833 (freecall)

Phone 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) for 24 hour assessment, referral, advice, and hospital and community health centre contact details.

Medicare rebates are available for a range of mental health treatments, including up to 10 individual consultations and up to 10 group therapy sessions with a mental health professional. You’ll need a referral from a general practitioner, psychiatrist or paediatrician to be eligible.

A number of new temporary MBS telehealth services have also been created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Online treatment

MoodGYM is an innovative, interactive web program designed to prevent depression. It consists of 5 modules, an interactive game, anxiety and depression assessments, downloadable relaxation audio, a workbook and feedback assessment.

The eMHprac directory is a web version of the popular eMHPrac Guide to Digital Mental Health Resource booklet.

Counselling services for anyone at anytime.
Phone 13 11 14

Kids Helpline
Telephone and online counselling for young people aged 5-25.
Phone 1800 551 800

SANE helpline
Information, advice and referral for mental illness.
Phone 1800 187 263

Information and referral for depression and anxiety.
Phone 1300 224 636

A 24-hour national crisis support line for mob who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping. They offer confidential, one-on-one yarning with Lifeline-trained Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander crisis supporters.
Phone 13 92 76

Support, counselling and education for parents.
Phone 1300 301 300

Perinatal anxiety and depression Australia (PANDA) supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood.
Phone 1300 726 306 (Mon to Fri, 9am – 7:30pm AEST)

Fortify Health Group (formerly Harmony Place)
Mental health services for culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and communities.
Phone (07) 3416 6660

Open Arms – Veterans and Families Counselling (formerly known as Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service)
Counselling and group programs for Australian veterans, peacekeepers and their families.
Phone 1800 011 046

Telephone and online support, information and referral service to help men with relationship and other problems.
Phone 1300 789 978

Multicultural Connect Line
Telephone counselling for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds.
Phone 1300 079 020

Support groups

Banks offering disaster relief

NAB is providing $1,000 grants and additional financial relief to customers impacted by the bushfires in NSW (Mid-Western, Mid North and Far North regions) and Queensland (Gladstone, Western and Darling Downs), to assist them in the immediate aftermath.

The grants will help NAB customers who have suffered significant damage to their home, farm or business, cover emergency expenses.

Further support is available for NAB customers directly impacted, including:

  • Repayment moratoriums, reduced repayment arrangements for home, personal and some business loans.
  • Hardship support for customers struggling to make minimum monthly payments on personal loans, home loans or credit cards.
  • Waiving and/or refunding fees and charges, including merchant terminal fees and early access fees to term deposits.

NAB colleagues who have been evacuated from their place of residence or cut off from support services can also access funds to assist with accessing temporary accommodation and everyday essentials.

For further assistance, impacted customers are encouraged to visit Natural Disaster Relief and Support at nab.com.au and apply using the online form.

If a customer is unable to complete the online form, over the phone applications are available for:

  • Individuals: 1300 308 132 Mon-Fri, 8:00am to 7:00pm ADST.
  • Businesses: 1300 769 650 Mon – Fri, 8:00am to 5:00pm ADST.

Enquiries will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility. Disaster relief grants for impacted customers will remain open until 10 November 2023.

Grants are not available for minor damage to homes or for damage to personal items and appliances, sheds, garages, gardens, or loss or damage to investment properties or holiday homes. NAB also has a longstanding policy to provide employees who are emergency service volunteers as much paid crisis leave as they require during emergencies.