Flood clean up and waste removal hotline (8.30am - 4.30pm): Call 1300 545 040 or visit the MidCoast Recovery Centre in Taree.
Outreach Recovery Centre visits near you
A dedicated recovery centre is operating in the former MidCoast Council chambers in Pulteney Street Taree providing face-to-face support for MidCoast residents affected by the recent storms and floods. Outreach recovery centre visits and community meetings are being organised in other locations, please check below for locations and dates.
The MidCoast Recovery Centre will provide support for the community’s immediate needs and provide information and advice about all the programs that are available from the government, charities and local support services.
MidCoast Council’s recovery team will be on site, along with representatives from various NSW Government agencies to support members of our community dealing with the fallout from the record breaking flooding that impacted the MidCoast last weekend.
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
TAREE 2 Pulteney Street (old Council chambers)
Open: 9am – 5pm weekdays, 10am - 4pm Saturdays
HARRINGTON Function Centre
Wednesday 21 April - 6pm - 8pm community meeting
WINGHAM Town Hall
Thursday 29 April - 2pm - 5pm community outreach and 6pm - 8pm community meeting
COOPERNOOK School of Arts
Tuesday 4 May - 2pm - 5pm community outreach and 6pm - 8pm community meeting
MITCHELLS ISLAND School of Arts
Thursday 6 May - 2pm - 5pm community outreach and 6pm - 8pm community meeting
If you require accommodation assistance, please call: Link 2 Home Emergency Accommodation 1800 152 152 or Disaster Welfare 1800 018 444.
Airbnb is hosting a site where you can offer or find free emergency housing during the NSW flooding. Go to www.airbnb.com/nswfloods21p
The NSW Government is urging people not to donate unwanted goods to communities affected by the floods.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott is urging people to use the NSW Government partnership site, GIVIT when donating either money or the listed goods and services that are needed.
“When we witness devastation, it is human nature to do anything we can to help. One of the key things we ask is that people don’t take unrequested items into storm and flood-impacted areas. We need to ensure local charities and recovery organisations aren’t inundated with donations they don’t need,” Mr Elliott said.
Disaster relief funding
A disaster declaration has been 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.
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 email@example.com.
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
Access disaster relief payments: 1802266
Job Seeker Assistance
Job seeker requirements have been relaxed during the flood period. The Government will lift mutual obligation requirements for job seekers in the Local Government Areas impacted by the NSW floods and storms from Friday 19 March until Tuesday 6 April 2021.
No job seeker in the affected areas will face payment suspension or financial penalties for failing to meet their mutual obligation requirements such as not being able to attend appointments or activities.
More information about mutual obligations requirements can be found here
Wesley Mission Emergency Support
Wesley Mission can help with food and clothing vouchers, purchase of essential household items and/or payment of bills.
Contact via the website only: www.wesleymission.org.au/emergencyrelief
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.
Telstra is offering its customers disaster relief packages. For more information and to apply visit their webpage here.
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
The MidCoast region’s drinking water is safe for consumption and has remained so since the disaster began.
Council has extensive monitoring and control measures in place to ensure our water is safe to drink, even during and after flood events.
Mental health support
If you are experiencing mental health issues as a result of the flood emergency, you can self refer to:
Bush Fire Recovery Clinician | Manning Mental Health
Monday to Thursday
144 Commerce St Taree 2430
Tel Mob 0407801331 | Anthony.Colechin@health.nsw.gov.au
Bushfire Recovery Clinician (Social Worker) | Manning Mental Health Services
P.O. Box 4115, Forster Shopping Village NSW 2428
14 Breese Parade, Forster NSW 2428
Tel (02) 6539 6300 | Fax (02) 6557 2107 | Mob 0407 609 690| firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also call the NSW Mental Health Line anytime on 1800 011 511.
Mensline – 1300 789 978
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Beyondblue – 1300 22 4636
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.
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
Flood Recovery hotline
As the clean-up continues across the MidCoast we have created a Flood Recovery Hotline that will operate from 8.30am to 4.30pm, 7 days a week.
The hotline is to assist the coordination of the clean-up and is for all your flood waste and removal enquiries.
Please call 1300 545 040 to register your location and flood waste removal needs.
This information will be sent to the strikeforce teams to help when they can.
We have enlisted and deployed more than 35 trucks and excavators across the region to assist and we hope to get to everyone quickly.
Free kerbside collection of flood waste
Waste from flood impacted properties will be collected from the kerbside free of charge for MidCoast residents and business owners.
View this important advice from Service NSW before you start to clean up: Flood assistance and clean-up advice(PDF, 85KB)
The waste needs to be sorted into piles on the kerb into the following categories:
- food waste (use your red lid bin first. If the bin is full put food waste in a container on the curb side. Food can also be taken to MidCoast Waste Management Centres free of charge)
- hard bulk waste (furniture, carpets, mattresses)
- green waste (vegetation)
- scrap metal (whitegoods and e-waste)
- hazardous materials (gas bottles, paint, pool chemicals, unlabelled drums)
Local Land Services is coordinating removal of animal carcasses and the community is encouraged to phone them on 1800 814 647 to report and arrange for pick-up.
Domestic waste disposal services
Waste collection services are operating normally, unless unable to access your collection point due to flooding.
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.
Our annual bulky waste collection was interrupted by the flood event, check here for an update: Bulky waste update
If you've lost your bins in the flood event, call 7955 7777 to organise a replacement.
Refund for flood waste fees at waste disposal facility
All MidCoast residents who took flood waste to local waste management facilities between March 22 and 29 are eligible for reimbursement of their costs.
To claim the reimbursement members of the community need to register here (reimbursement will only be paid subject to the production of a receipt):
Open the form to register for a refund
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.
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.
Livestock support and clean up of carcasses
NSW DPI and Local Land Services work together to manage the effects of emergencies on agriculture and livestock.
This includes the current flood emergency in with the provision of emergency fodder, animal assessment and veterinary assistance, stock euthanasia and disposal, livestock feeding and management advice, and care of animals in evacuation centres.
Producers can call to report damage and stock losses, as well as request assistance. Contact the Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline: 1800 814 647.
Available help includes:
- emergency fodder
- veterinary assistance
- stock destruction and disposal
- livestock feeding and management advice.
Refer to the Fact Sheet(PDF, 745KB) here for specific advice.
Please check the disaster relief funding tab above - for loans and grants and assistance for primary producers.
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: email@example.com
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.
Applications will open mid April and business owners can request a call back from a member of the Service NSW business concierge team.
For further information on these grants click here.
The NSW Small Business Commissioner has support services for small business owners who have suffered direct damage to their assets or loss of income following statewide flooding.
For more information, have a read of the Service NSW storms and floods business support fact sheet.(PDF, 197KB)
Money, legal, insurance and disputes assistance
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.
Free legal help is available from:
- Mid North Coast Community Legal Centre: 6580 2111 or
- Legal Aid Disaster Response Legal Service: 1800 801 529
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
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.
Only trained carers are licensed to care for sick, injured or orphaned wildlife. Here's what to do if you come across displaced, stressed or injured animals during the floods:
For koalas - do not pick up the animal. Call and report to Koalas in Care: 0439 406 770