Flood Recovery Hub

Help with Recovery

If you've been impacted by the floods, in the first instance contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 to help you find rapid and relevant assistance for your unique situation. Service NSW is working in partnership with fellow State Agencies, MidCoast Council and the Australian Government to provide impacted people with information on and access to:

  • Accommodation advice
  • Replacing lost documents 
  • Mental health and wellbeing services
  • Support for businesses
  • Clean-up services
  • Financial assistance
  • Insurance and legal support 

The Service NSW website has a Disaster Assistance Finder tool which can get you started. 

If you would like information about local flood recovery support call our Recovery team on 7955 7543. 

For all road closures, re-openings and updates visit our flood damaged roads page. Information and advice will appear here as we get it, and this page will be updated regularly. 

Flood Recovery newsletter

Sign up to subscribe to our email Flood Recovery newsletter to receive all updates and help available.

View the previous Flood Recovery newsletters here:

 


Support for community

MidCoast Council has received funding from Resilience NSW to support the community in flood recovery. If you have ideas for community events that would support flood recovery, contact Janine Friedrich, Community Recovery Officer Ph: 7955 7543 or Email: Recovery@midcoast.nsw.gov.au. Upcoming community recovery events are publicised through our Recovery newsletters.



Accommodation

If you require accommodation assistance, please call: Compass Housing 1300 333 733 or Disaster Welfare 1800 018 444. 



Donations

If you need help with sourcing specific items that will help you with your flood recovery, local charities are the best place to ask for assistance.

If you would like to donate, The GIVIT website lists items currently needed by people. You can select an item and choose to either donate or fund it. GIVIT has partnered with the State Government to manage donations to make sure people and communities get exactly what they need, when they need it.

You can also list an item for donation or give money that will be used to buy exactly what's needed. 

Please Visit GIVIT.org.au to donate

More information about GIVIT(PDF, 388KB)



Disaster relief funding

A disaster declaration was announced for the MidCoast Council area. This declaration provides support for members of the community who have been impacted by flooding.
 

NSW Government assistance

To find out information on personal hardship and distress assistance contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

The Service NSW website has a Disaster Assistance Finder tool to help you find rapid and relevant assistance for your unique situation.

Visit the NSW Rural Assistance Authority to find out what grants or loans you may be able to apply for:
There is specific assistance for primary producers, small business and not for profit organisations: Apply for a disaster relief loan here

Primary producers can apply for transport subsidies: Apply for a primary producer transport subsidy here

The RAA also requests that  primary producers report flood-related damage including stock and fodder losses, damage to crops, pastures, fencing and other farm infrastructure through the Natural Disaster Damage Survey. This helps to inform the severity and regional distribution of the damage to support targeted resources and assistance in appropriate areas.

For more information on how the RAA can assist you, please call 1800 678 593 or email rural.assist@raa.nsw.gov.au.

Australian Government assistance

The Australian Government has activated the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance to support people adversely affected by the storms and floods in NSW.

The quickest and easiest way to claim is to call 180 22 66. Check your eligibility at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster 

More information on Australian Government disaster assistance is available at www.disasterassist.gov.au   

Centrelink

Access disaster relief payments: 1802266 

Manning Valley Neighbourhood Services

Provides direct financial support and assistance to people having difficulty paying bills or accessing items for personal needs. Please call 6553 5121 for an assessment. Open Monday -Thursday 9am - 3m. 

Motor vehicle stamp duty relief

Motorists whose cars have been written off as a result of a natural disaster may be eligible for a stamp duty refund on their replacement vehicle.

Contact Revenue NSW: 1300 139 814 



Health and recovery assistance

Residents in flood-affected NSW are now able to access telehealth with any available GP, even if you have not seen that GP or practice before. This has been enacted to ensure access to care is maintained to those who require it. You can call any GP clinic for a telephone consultation.

The Primary Health Network may be able to assist with a range a programs for disaster-affected people.

You can also access health support through the Farmgate Support Program, the contact details are:

Farmgate Support Program  0477 322 851 
Local Farmgate Support Workers:
TAREE 
David Rosewarne:  0428 136 447  David.Rosewarne@health.nsw.gov.au
GLOUCESTER Leanne Tilse 0419 747 276 Leanne.Tilse@health.nsw.gov.au 

Mental health support 

If you are experiencing mental health issues as a result of the flood emergency, you can call the:

NSW Mental Health Line anytime on 1800 011 511.
Mensline – 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Beyondblue – 1300 22 4636 

Lifeline

For those seeking crisis support call 13 11 14,  text 0477 13 11 14 or visit the Lifeline website. 

For counselling support (Gloucester, Taree or Forster) without referral or charge call 1300 152 854. 

Australian Red Cross

Visit the Red Cross website for help to check in with those affected by floods, or to give support, or receive assistance. 

For people living with a disability 

IDEAS is a national disability information service. They are open and have lots of emergency information at their fingertips. Their phone number is 1800 029 904. 

Immediate Equipment Needs

The NDIS call centre can provide approvals for urgent aids and equipment repairs over the phone – 1800 800 110.

Information for providers and participants in extending plans. This also includes hiring equipment. If the repair (or hire) needs to occur outside call centre hours, the NDIA says go ahead and organise straight away – approval can be made the next day. Self-managed and plan managed participants should just claim for repairs or hire from their current plan. If you do not have enough funds, contact the call centre for help. 

Mould removal and air quality

If you are concerned about mould, please read the NSW Health Fact Sheet for guidance.



Clean up - flood damage

If you are insured, speak to your insurer first to find out exactly what your policy covers, and how the insurer wants you to dispose of flood damaged items.

Take plenty of photos of the damage prior to cleaning up.

If you have issues with your insurer, get in contact with the Insurance Council of Australia at www.insurancecouncil.com.au.

Free legal help in flood recovery is also available from:

  • Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre: 6580 2111  or
  • Legal Aid Disaster Response Legal Service: 1800 801 529 

Please read the fact sheet from Resilience NSW(PDF, 69KB) before you engage tradespeople to help with recovery or repairs to property.

Returning to a flood damaged property

Important health advice(PDF, 107KB) for clean up workers from NSW Health

If your property has been affected by floodwater:

  • Make sure your property is safe before entering. Check for damage to windows, walls and the roof. Make sure the electricity and gas is turned off before going inside.
  • If power points, electrical equipment, appliances or electrical hot water systems have been exposed to floodwater or are water damaged in any way, they must be inspected by a qualified electrician before use
  • Gas appliances and gas bottles that have been exposed to floodwater should be inspected for safety before use
  • Wear protective clothing, including boots and gloves when cleaning up
  • Be aware of any slip, trip or fall hazards
  • Never eat food which has been in contact with floodwater
  • Only use clean utensils and personal items and have a supply of fresh drinking water
  • For the latest information listen to your local ABC radio station
  • Follow us on Facebook at /NSWSES or our website at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

Domestic waste disposal services

Waste collection services are operating normally.

The EPA waste levy has been removed from tipping fees for flood affected waste. The $190 per tonne fee has been reduced to $97.49 per tonne. 

If you've lost your bins in the flood event, call 7955 7777 to organise a replacement. 



    Floods and septic systems

    A septic system cannot function properly during flooding or when the soil is waterlogged, which can cause a sewage back-up and surcharge in the home. If your property is unsewered and has been recently affected by heavy rainfall, please take the following precautions:

    • Organise for your septic tank to be pumped out by one of the contractors listed below. This will give you capacity to continue using your septic tank while allowing time for the disposal area to dry out.

      Note: pumping out the septic tank needs to be done carefully to avoid the tank from floating and popping out of the ground. A plastic tank should only be pumped out by no more than two-thirds of its capacity.

    •  Try to minimise water usage while the land application area remains saturated; and

    • Arrange for a qualified plumber or drainer to inspect the septic system if you suspect it has been damaged.

    Failed systems

    While flooding is unlikely to damage the structure of your septic tank, flood water may enter the septic system through the toilet, other fixtures, or the overflow relief gully grate. Flooding of the septic system may wash out solids from the tank causing blockages or damage. A failed system may not be easy to identify, but some simple indications include: 

    • pungent odour around the tank and land application area

    • blocked fixtures and wastewater overflowing from the relief point

    • high sludge levels in the tank and

    • sewage flowing up through the toilet and sinks.

    Some on-site wastewater treatment systems rely on mechanical and electrical equipment such as pumps, aerators, and filters, which may be damaged during flooding or when there is a loss of power. Contact your service provider in such situations to prevent injury or further damage to your system.

    Safety issues that need to be checked

    • Beware of open covers/pits

    • Ruptured/leaking systems (including pipes)

    • Damaged/exposed pipes that may need repairing/capping/sealing off

    Note: A qualified plumber will need to carry out any repairs other than temporary emergency works to prevent further overflows or inundation.

    Remember, sewage contains harmful bacteria and other disease-causing organisms such as viruses and parasites. It needs to be cleaned up immediately to prevent potential illness. Ensure children and pets are excluded from any contamination until the impacted area has been cleaned and made safe.

    Council approved sludge removal contractors

    Transpacific Industries Pty Ltd: 4939 1111

    JR Richards & Sons: 6555 7007

    Mid Coast Liquid Waste: 6553 6388

    Please contact one of our Environmental Health Officers in the on-site wastewater management team on 7955 7777 if sewage has overflowed inside your home or if you have any questions about your septic system. 



    For our first responders

    If you are a first responder, or a family member of a first responder, you may also need support.

    Contact Fortem Australia
    Clinical Team: 1300 33 95 94 Email: info@fortemaustralia.org.au



    Help for Businesses

    Service NSW has a dedicated help centre for businesses in disaster declared areas, including the MidCoast. They can help with personalised support, business loans and financial assistance, legal support, insurance assistance, mental health support, Telco support and more resources.

    Small businesses and not-for-profit organisations directly impacted by the NSW storms and floods from 10 March 2021 onwards may be eligible for a flood disaster recovery grant of up to $50,000, and a disaster recovery grant of up to $75,000 is available to eligible primary producers. For further information on these grants click here.

    Chess Connect

    The Business Resilience Project by Chess Connect offers free workplace wellbeing mentorship, workshops and consults for local small business operators. For more information, visit their website or Phone 1800 899 017

    For more information, have a read of the Service NSW storms and floods business support fact sheet.(PDF, 197KB)[JF1] 



    Money, legal, insurance and disputes assistance

    Money smart

    The Government's money smart website has some good advice if you're experiencing a natural disaster:

    Urgent help with money

    What to do after a natural disaster

    Recovering from a natural disaster

    Mid North Coast Financial Counselling Service can provide a free financial counselling and assistance service. Call 1300 662 540.

    Legal help

    Free legal help is available from:

    • Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre: 6580 2111  or
    • Legal Aid Disaster Response Legal Service: 1800 801 529

    Insurance

    Legal Aid has produced a fact sheet with advice on insurance: What to do after a disaster(PDF, 274KB)

    The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) disaster hotline: 1800 734 621. Note this is not a claims lodgement service.  

    Replacing lost land title documentation

    NSW Land Registry Services will make title searches, replacement Certificates of Title and plan images free for property owners affected by flooding in NSW.
    Contact: 1300 396 076 (regional callers) or (02) 8776 3575

    Dispute resolution

    Australian Financial Complaints Authority - helps with insurance disputes. Phone 1800 931 678 or their significant event hotline: 1800 337 444.

    The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman - for unresolved phone and internet problems. If you are in a bushfire or flood affected area and have tried to fix your phone or internet issue with your telco, contact us on 1800 046 686 or 03 8600 8308 or visit the link to make a complaint online.

    The Energy and Water Ombudsman - for issues with re-connections, payment difficulties and disputed billing. Call 1800 246 545 or visit the link to make a complaint online. 



Flood repair costs

Ongoing estimates suggest that we could be looking at as much as a $23 million repair bill for the March 2021 floods that devastated large parts of the local government area.

The flood event was the second largest on record, behind the 1929 flood, in the Taree area, which took the brunt of the natural disaster.

Initial estimates indicate the major road damage, which has been extensive, will come in at between $15 and $20 million. An amount of $3.7 million has been put on the cost of restoring and repairing public spaces such as buildings, parks, reserves and playgrounds.

This is not money the community will be expected to cover.

Transport infrastructure repairs costs are the subject of applications to the State Government in several stages, emergency response, immediate restoration and full restoration.

The $3.7 million for public space repairs will be covered by Council’s insurers.

It is expected it will take a significant amount of time to undertake all the repairs required on area roads. Several of our connecting roads suffered significant damage due to slope stability. With similar damage along much of the east coast of NSW and limited contractors able to complete repair these roads are expected to be out of action for some time.