BUSHFIRE CRISIS RECOVERY INFORMATION KIT FOR AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESSES

Many members and their clients have been impacted by the current bushfire crisis in Australia.  This resource intends to share information about support services and agencies where you can reach out for assistance.
If you have unusual circumstances specific to you or your clients, we encourage you to contact AAT directly and we will co-ordinate connecting you with the relevant services to address your individual circumstances, or that of your clients. Phone 1800 000 961 or email membership@aat.org.au.
We expect to be adding to this information resource in coming days and weeks as different agencies launch various projects to assist in the recovery and rebuilding projects for impacted people.

IMMEDIATE RISK AND KEEPING SAFE

The most important thing to do as this bushfire crisis continues to be acute in so many areas, is to ensure that you, your clients, family and friends remain aware and safe.

New South Wales
For all NSW related incident and relief and recovery information, please visit Emergency NSW and Rural Assistance Authority.

South Australia
To see the emergency incidents currently being attended to please check out:
Country Fire Service
State Emergency Service
Metropolitan Fire Service

For bushfire warnings please download the Alert SA App.

Victoria
For all incident and relief and recovery information, including information on making an insurance claim, please visit Emergency Victoria.
Landholders needing emergency fodder for livestock should contact the Victorian Farmers Federation(VFF) on 1300 882 833 between 9am and 5pm or email: fodder@vff.org.au.

PERSONAL WELL-BEING

It is normal to experience anxiety, physical and mental un-wellness and feel overwhelmed after experiencing significant trauma such that many Australians have experienced during the national bushfire crisis.
If you or your clients are experiencing anxiety, mental or physical stress there are many people and services available to assist.  Support is available for you and your family from:
Lifeline - 13 11 14
Beyond Blue- 1300 22 4636 or online chat
Any of these services

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS

There is financial support available for people directly impacted in disaster declared areas from the Department of Human Services, please find information and application forms here.
We are seeking input from the Federal Government around financial support for small businesses and we will keep you informed.

ATO SUPPORT FOR LODGEMENT AND PAYMENT DEFERRALS 

The ATO has underlined that impacted taxpayers should not be concerned about their tax affairs at present, rather focusing on personal safety, families and community. 
To support this, the ATO has announced an automatic 2-month deferral for lodgement and payment of activity statements for
impacted postcodes.


There is also an ATO Emergency support Infoline at 1800 806 218 for anyone requiring assistance.
Please reach out for specific assistance directly to AAT and we will co-ordinate connecting you with the relevant supports to address your individual circumstances, or that of your clients, phone 1800 000 961 or email membership@aat.org.au.

ASSISTANCE FROM BANKS

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has advised that Australians affected by the catastrophic bush fires across parts of Australia are encouraged to contact their bank to access a wide range of available assistance.  Banks have hardship teams that are ready to assist customers, including small businesses, affected by bush fires.  

Assistance can include: 

  • A deferral of scheduled loan repayments 
  • Waiving fees and charges, including break costs on early redemption of Farm Management Deposits 
  • Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable 
  • Restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees 
  • Deferring interest payments on a case-by-case basis 
  • Offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages 
  • Deferring upcoming credit card payments 
  • Increasing emergency credit card limits.  

For more information, or to find the number for your bank’s hardship team go to www.ausbanking.org.au/doingittough or refer to the table below:  

RECOVERING FROM DISASTER RESOURCES

NSW Government – A guide to recovering from disaster
https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-12/14986_SBC_RecoveryTOOLKIT_web%20accessible.pdf