Bushfire Assistance Update – 29 January 2020

Bushfire assistance update - 29 January 2020 - Photo used under Creative Commons

Our work continues in support of veterans and their families who have been affected by bushfires.

We are providing financial assistance through RSL DefenceCare’s Disaster Assistance Fund. RSL sub-Branches in impacted areas are coordinating local support and distributing financial assistance to those who need it.

As of 29 January, the financial assistance we have provided to bushfire affected areas includes:

  • $24,600 to five RSL sub-Branches to distribute locally, and
  • $70,613 directly to 20 individual veterans in affected areas.

A total of $95,213 has been provided for bushfire assistance so far. This figure is on top of financial assistance provided in 2019 for other disasters such as drought.

Click here to see more detail on the assistance provided so far. This document will be updated frequently.


How the Assistance is Helping

The bushfire assistance has been provided to veterans in the following areas, all of which have been adversely affected by the fires.

  • Armidale region
  • Bega region
  • Blayney region
  • Central Tablelands
  • Dubbo
  • Eurobodalla region
  • Goulburn Mulwaree region
  • Greater Taree region
  • Inverell Shire region
  • Nambucca Shire region
  • Western Plains

In the update from 15 January, we published some touching feedback from a veteran in the Western Plains region. This time, Tim from Running Stream told us how the financial assistance is helping after severe drought and bushfire.

“We run mixed stock on our property and as we were already drought effected the fire destroyed what little feed we had. We had already downed stock to breeding stock only and without the assistance we would have had to give up farming.”

This is just one example of the assistance provided. The loss of feed for livestock, followed by additional costs to buy new feed and repair or replace damaged property is putting severe financial strain on veterans and their families in these communities.

Many veterans have had to compete with loss of power, phone reception, internet connection and water pressure. Loss of power has caused refrigerated and frozen food to perish.

Those unfortunate to lose their homes have required assistance with paying for accommodation or immediate needs such as new clothes. Some veterans who run their own businesses have had to stop trading, causing income to slow down or dry up.


Thank You – The Work Continues

This assistance is possible thanks to generous contributions from sub-Branches to the Disaster Assistance Fund.

So far over $413,000 has been contributed to the disaster assistance fund by RSL sub-Branches.

Thank you again to the District Councils and sub-Branches that we acknowledged in the previous updates. In addition to those that contributed in December and early January, we are grateful for the support of the following sub-Branches that have contributed recently. A full list of sub-Branches that have contributed can be seen in this document.

  • East Maitland RSL sub-Branch – $2,000
  • Five Dock RSL sub-Branch – $50,000
  • Hornsby RSL sub-Branch – $1,000
  • Lambton RSL sub-Branch – $5,000
  • Mortdale RSL sub-Branch – $300
  • Mudgee RSL sub-Branch – $2,000
  • Picton RSL sub-Branch – $1,000
  • Westpac RSL sub-Branch – $1,250

Thanks also go to the organisations and individuals who have generously donated to RSL DefenceCare in support of disaster assistance.


How to Seek Help or Contribute

Read the recent message about bushfire assistance to find detail on:

  • how sub-Branches seeking support for veterans can assist, and
  • how unaffected sub-Branches can make contributions to the Disaster Assistance Fund.
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