13 July, 2024
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Recovery Centre to open in Kempsey region to support bushfire-affected residents

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A Recovery Centre will open at Willawarrin tomorrow, Thursday, 26 October, to support communities in and around the Kempsey region recover from the recent bushfires.

Bushfire-affected residents 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:

  • Service NSW, including Business Concierges
  • NSW Reconstruction Authority
  • Department of Primary Industries / Local Land Services
  • NSW Health – Mental Health services
  • Rural Financial Counselling Services
  • Red Cross
  • Legal Aid
  • Insurance Council of Australia
  • Salvation Army
  • Disaster Relief Grants Assessor

Located at Willawarrin Community Hall, 24-26 Main St, Willawarrin, the Recovery Centre will open during the following hours:

  • Thursday – 9am to 5pm
  • Friday – 9am to 5pm
  • Saturday – 10am to 3pm
  • Monday – 9am to 5pm
  • Tuesday – 12pm to 7pm

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.

Donations can be made through the NSW Government’s Official Donation Management Channel at givit.org.au/nsw-bushfires-2023.

This 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.

The Recovery Centre is being opened by the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:

“This is a challenging time for the community and serves as a tragic reminder of how dangerous bushfires are.”

“It is important that affected residents in the Kempsey region get back on their feet as quickly as possible, and a number of government agencies and Ministers have worked quickly to make sure people can access funding and find support through our Recovery Centre.”

“We know providing face-to-face support is crucial in the early stages of recovery, so we encourage anyone affected by the fires to visit the centre and find out what support they may be eligible for.”

Deputy CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority Simone Walker said:

“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 Salvation Army, Business Concierge, Red Cross and Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.”

“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.”  

Jihad Dib

Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government

Minister for Emergency Services

Minister for Youth Justice

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