BUSHFIRE ASSISTANCE PORTAL

About this Portal

TAA NSW has compiled a range of relevant information for hotels affected by the bushfire crisis into a “one stop shop” of key information, contact details and assistance to provide support for members.

TAA NSW Bushfire Appeal

TAA NSW, with AHA NSW, has made a donation of $250,000 to support bushfire victims. This donation was made to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal on behalf of members, and is an initial step to help provide some immediate relief to victims of the terrible bushfires raging across NSW.

Hotels in fire devastated areas are already providing their communities with respite and relief. Many other NSW hotels, hospitality groups and other industry partners have also made significant contributions.

TAA NSW will provide additional support measures in bushfire and drought affected communities in coming months once the full scale of the devastation is known.

If you would also like to make a tax deductible donation, please click here https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-bushfire-appeal-nsw

Liquor & Gaming NSW – Gaming Machine Tax Deferral and Other Assistance

On behalf of members, TAA NSW wrote to the NSW Government requesting the deferral of a range of state taxes and levies.

Liquor & Gaming NSW have now announced they are offering assistance to bushfire-impacted businesses by providing:

  • Gaming machine tax deferral
  • Exemptions from certain regulatory requirements
  • Temporary relocation of liquor licences to other premises
  • Replacement copies of destroyed licences
  • Replacement signage cost waivers or reductions

If you have lost your physical competency card, you can download a digital version here. You can also find basic details of your liquor licence, including licence number and conditions, on the online public register.

To enquire about what you may be eligible to apply for, please email contact.us@liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au with ‘Bushfires’ in the subject line with details of your situation.

Australian Taxation Office

The ATO has announced support for those in identified impacted postcodes, including:

  • extra time to pay debt or lodge tax forms such as activity statements
  • help you find lost tax file numbers (TFN)
  • re-issue income tax returns, activity statements and notices of assessment
  • help re-construct tax records that are lost or damaged
  • fast track any refunds owed
  • set up a payment plan tailored to individual circumstances including interest-free period
  • remit penalties or interest charged

Taxpayers within the impacted postcodes can vary PAYG instalments in future periods, without penalties or interest. Businesses that are making purchases in coming months to replace stock and other losses may elect to change the GST reporting cycle they use to report and pay GST monthly in order to get quicker access to net amount refunds.

For more information, please visit the ATO website by clicking here.

Bushfire Recovery Factsheet

The Federal Government has prepared a bushfire recovery factsheet, which can be accessed by clicking here.

NSW Rural Assistance Authority Loans and Grants

The NSW Rural Assistance Authority is administering low-interest loans and grants for small businesses impacted by bushfires within 32 regional Local Government Areas.

Disaster recovery grants provide eligible small businesses up to $15,000 to help with clean-up and immediate restoration costs in the aftermath of extreme natural disasters.

The grants are available to small businesses with less than 20 employees directly impacted by fire to assist in clean-up and removal of debris (including labour costs above and beyond normal wage expenditure), restoration of damaged assets and stock, or relocation and leasing of temporary premises. More information and guidelines for applicants can be found on the NSW RAA website .

Small businesses that have suffered damage to the premises as a direct result of a bushfire may be eligible for low interest disaster recovery loans of up to $130,000. The loans are intended to provide essential working capital to the amount required to enable the business to return to its normal level of trading, with a concessional rate of interest of 1.37%, and a t wo year interest and repayment free period. More information and guidelines for applicants can be found on the NSW RAA website .

Small Business Recovery Toolkit

The NSW Small Business Commission has developed a range of resources to help small business owners recover from disasters. Visit https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/disaster-recovery for more information.

Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance

The Federal Department of Human Services is providing a one-off Disaster Recovery Payment of $1,000 for each eligible adult and $400 for each dependent child for people who have been injured, who have lost an immediate family member, or whose home has been significantly damaged or destroyed. For more information, click here.

Additionally, a short-term Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to people lose income as a direct result of the bushfires. This taxable allowance is available for a maximum of 13 weeks, and is equivalent to either Newstart or Youth Allowance, and may assist your staff if your hotel is not fully operational. For more information, click here.

www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster

CUB & Lion Offer Assistance

In addition to a generous $1 million donation to bushfire relief, Lion Beer Australia will provide any stockist in the affected areas with access to extended credit and invoice terms, stock allowances and altered delivery conditions as needed, and free cleaning for draught beer systems to get pubs back open as soon as possible. Customers not yet in contact with their sales representative should contact Lion Connect on 131 513.

Carlton & United Breweries have also generously pledged $1 million to fire-impacted communities, and will extend credit terms to bushfire-affected customers. CUB are also offering free cleaning for all affected customers draught beer systems. Contact the Consumer relations team on 1800 007 282 for more information.

AUSTRAC Compliance Reports

If you are in a bushfire affected area and you are concerned about meeting your AUSTRAC obligations, such as completing your 2019 compliance report, please contact AUSTRAC for assistance by clicking here.

OneMusic Licensing Moratorium

OneMusic have announced a moratorium on licensing businesses in the bushfire declared natural disaster zones of Australia including:

  • Placing relicensing of existing customers in bushfire declared natural disaster zones on temporary hold, and where appropriate extending current licences on a complimentary basis for 12 months;
  • On request, making pro rata adjustments for businesses in bushfire declared natural disaster zones who have closed or are unable to trade;
  • Placing debt recovery on temporary hold in bushfire declared natural disaster zones; and
  • Writing off outstanding debts for licensed businesses in the most severely impacted towns.

If you are in a bushfire-impacted area and are inadvertently contacted by OneMusic, please access their bushfire emergency contact page by clicking here.

Venues staging fundraising events for bushfire victims and fire services during this crisis should contact OneMusic for a complimentary public performance licence. OneMusic will also help promote these events if requested.

Finance and Banking

Your bank may offer assistance in the form of deferred loan payments, waiving fees and charges, helping with debt consolidation, waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit or deferring upcoming credit card payments and increasing emergency limits. You can contact the major banks using the details below:

ANZ – 1800 252 845
Commonwealth – 1300 720 814
NAB – 1800 701 599
St George – 1800 629 795
Westpac – 1800 067 497

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) are offering fee reviews and alternate payment options for bushfire-impacted companies. For more information, please click here.

The National Financial Counselling Helpline provides financial counsellors who can help those impacted by the fires and in financial difficulty by providing information, support and advocacy. This service is free, independent and confidential. Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (free call) or visit www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au

Insurance

If you have property or contents insurance you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the fire.

  • Ask your insurer for advice on actions you should take
  • Do not discard or throw away damaged items without first consulting your insurance company
  • Make a list of items that have been damaged and take photographs if possible
  • Keep receipts for any emergency repair work

For assistance with insurance contact the Insurance Council of Australia on 1800 734 621 (24 hour hotline). You can find information on lodging a claim following a disaster here: www.disasters.org.au.

Utilities and Energy

Energy customers experiencing hardship with management of utility accounts are advised to contact their retail provider to discuss payment options as soon as possible.

The NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman provides a free and independent dispute resolution service for all electricity and gas customers in NSW, and some water customers. Call 1800 246 545 or visit https://www.ewon.com.au

Mental Health Support

Natural disasters like bushfires are extremely challenging for the people directly affected. The stress caused following a natural disaster can lead to ‘burnout’ and physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. The following resources are available to assist you and your workers:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
  • Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
  • Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
  • Carers Australia 1800 242 636

Federal Government National Bushfire Recovery Agency

The Federal Government has announced a $2 billion initial contribution to the new National Bushfire Recovery Fund. The fund will be administered by the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency under the leadership of former Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin.

Priorities will include: primary producer grants for restocking, replanting and fencing, additional support for small businesses, grants to bushfire affected Local Government Areas, a mental health package for first responders and communities, support to attract tourists back to the regions, infrastructure projects to support economic, community and industry recovery and resilience, and measures to support the environment and native wildlife.

More information can be found here.

Key Contacts

Emergency 000
NSW Rural Fire Service Bushfire Information Line 1800 679 737 https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/
NSW Government Disaster Welfare Assistance Line 1800 018 444 https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/
Temporary Accommodation 1800 422 322 https://www.dcj.nsw.gov.au/families-and-communities/bushfire-housing-assistance-service
Insurance Questions 1800 734 621 https://disasters.org.au/
Legal Support 1300 888 529 https://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/
Mental Health Support 1800 011 511 https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/mentalhealth/Pages/contact-service.aspx
Replace Lost Documents (Service NSW) 13 77 88 https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/contact-us
NSW Rural Assistance Authority 1800 678 593 https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/
Australian Hotels Association NSW 1800 422 036 https://ahansw.com.au/
Carlton United Breweries 1800 007 282 https://cub.com.au/
Lion Beer Australia 131 513 https://www.lionco.com/

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