On Wednesday 20 November 2019, two catastrophic bushfires devastated our region, damaging properties, crops and livestock. Thankfully there have been no serious injuries or loss of human lives.
Our communities are deeply touched by the generosity and support already received and we thank everyone who has contributed for their kindness.
Discussions are currently taking place to ascertain the community’s needs moving forward. For this reason we are not currently seeking donations of goods such as food, clothing, furniture, appliances etc.
Below is some information about the support that is available for those affected by these fires and how those wanting to help are best able to assist.
Council staff will endeavour to update this page as new information becomes available. The Department of Human Services have the most current information available at www.dhs.sa.gov.au/yorketown
SYP Community Hub
33 Stansbury Road
The Relief & Recovery Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm and Saturday, 8.00 am to 12.00 noon for anyone affected by the fires to attend. Information and support services are also available from this location.
Those that have been affected by the fire and need information and support can call the hotline on 1800 302 787.
Personal Hardship Emergency Grants
South Australians directly affected by the Yorketown fire can apply for one-off emergency grants to assist with immediate, temporary relief.
The Personal Hardship Emergency Grants of up to $700 per family (or $280 per individual adult ) can be used at the discretion of each recipient, but are intended to pay for essential items such as food, toiletries, clothing and medication.
These immediate, emergency relief grants will be provided to people who have had to evacuate their homes and cannot yet return home, either due to having lost their home or because roads remain blocked.
People can apply for the grants in person at the Emergency Relief & Recovery Centre at the SYP Community Hub. If approved, grant recipients will receive an ATM card so they can access cash funds.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
Payments of $1000 per adult and $400 per child are now available for those worst-hit by the South Australian bushfires. This grant is available to those whose primary place of residence has been severely damaged or destroyed, or those who have been seriously injured by the Yorketown fire.
For more information and to see how to make a claim visit the Australian Government Department of Human Services website.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance
The Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to people who have lost their income because of the fires. It will give eligible people up to 13 weeks income support while they are getting back on their feet.
This support package is on top of the grants already announced.
For more information and to see how to make a claim visit the Australian Government Department of Human Services website
Further Grants and Financial Assistance
A list of grants as been compiled that may be relevant to those affected by the current bushfires occurring across Australia. These will be updates as more information becomes available.
View emergency relief grants available here.
Australian Taxation Office Deferrals
The ATO understands your area continues to be affected by the devastating bushfires. A number of local government areas have been granted access to the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP), which is likely to include your area. The ATO automatically grants deferrals for activity statement lodgments and payments due for anyone in the identified impacted postcodes. Full details of these deferrals and a list of impacted postcodes are available on the ATO website – anyone affected by the fires should focus on getting their other affairs in order and not worry about their tax obligations at this time.
Donations for the Local Community
A financial donation is the most helpful way that you can contribute to disaster affected communities. It helps those impacted to buy exactly what they need and spend the funds within their local community.
The donation of goods is not encouraged at it can pose challenges to administer, store, distribute and dispose of the goods. It also might not meet the needs of people affected by the disaster.
Yorketown Fire Relief Fund
Police Credit Union Yorketown Branch have set up and account for anyone wanting to make donations towards the recovery efforts. Donations can be made in person at the branch or to the account details below:
Account Name: Yorketown Fire Relief Fund
Account Number: 5260393
For more information about this fund, please contact Wendy Ault, Branch Manager, Police Credit Union Yorketown on 08 8852 7000.
BlazeAid is a volunteer based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters, such as fires, to help rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed.
A BlazeAid Camp is now open at Edithburgh, located at the Light Church.
Property owners wishing to register for assistance are asked to contact the Camp Coordinators. Registration is easy and can be done in as little as 10 minutes. More information for property owners on how to seek assistance can be found here.
Anyone wishing to volunteer is also asked to contact the Camp Coordinators.
Detailed information about the Edithburgh Camp, including contact information, is available on the BlazeAid website.
Yorketown Pharmacy Discount
Yorketown Pharmacy are extending their 20% staff discount and offering it to those affected by the fires and to others involved including all the emergency services volunteers who assisted. Ask in store for more information.
NIB Health Fund Offers Relief Package
Under the package, eligible NIB members in bushfire-affected areas will be offered a three month health insurance premium waiver. This means they will waive 100% of their premiums to help them continue to manage their health and wellbeing during this testing time. NIB Relief Package
Rural Financial Counselling Service
Rural Business Support provides a free rural financial counselling service for primary producers or small rural businesses who are more than 75% reliant on primary production for income.
It can assist you to make decisions and work through the implications of the current situation on your business.
Phone 1800 836 211 (freecall).
Banks ready to help those affected by devastating bushfires
Australians affected by the catastrophic bushfires are encouraged to contact their bank to access a wide range of available assistance.
Banks have hardship teams ready to assist you with your financial arrangements, depending on your circumstances.
Contact your bank for more information or https://www.ausbanking.org.au/policy/customers/financial-hardship/
CommBank Emergency Assistance Package
As part of the assistance package, CommBank staff can discuss with customers, a range of options, including:
- Emergency accommodation assistance for CommInsure customers whose homes have been damaged by bushfire, flood or storms.
- Expediting claims to CommInsure for customers seeking help through their home, contents and car insurance.
- Customised assistance for Commonwealth Bank home loan, credit card and personal loan customers who may experience difficulties because of the bushfire, flood or storms.
- Considering requests for additional loans including emergency credit limit increases (subject to credit approval).
- Loan restructuring for business customers with existing loans.
- Waiving prepayment charges for the month following an event, for affected customers wishing to access term deposits and Commonwealth Investment Bonds ahead of the maturity date.
- Waiving other selected fees and charges.
To connect with CommBank visit CommBank Emergency Assistance Package
Financial Counselling Helpline
Financial counsellors can assist South Australians in financial difficulty by providing information, support and advocacy. Their services are free, independent and confidential.
Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (free call).
Mental Health and Wellbeing Resources
People may experience grief or stress after a disaster like a bushfire. Sometimes the impact is obvious straight away, but often it is a slow process. Some impacts include shock, anger, depression, tension, irritability, anxiety or difficulty making decisions.
Find out more about mental health support services after a disaster: