Bushfire Recovery & Resilience Program

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Consultation has concluded

Since late 2019 our community has faced challenges including drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19. Bellingen Shire has shown itself as a very resilient community, able to cope with stressors and to recovery quickly. However, there are those amongst us who have struggled with stresses such as fear, loneliness and trauma. We are pleased that Bellingen’s Bushfire Recovery and Resilience funds are being channelled into projects and grants that provide opportunities for community led activities and innovation that can help make us all more resilient in our day to day lives and readier to cope with and recover from disasters.

The adjusted Bushfire Recovery & Resilience Program was unanimously approved at Extraordinary Council meeting on 29th July 2020.

The Program ($1.5 million) framework is organised in three themes:

  • Effective Response to and Recovery from Emergency - $672K
  • Enabling, Empowering, and Support Community Resilience - $483K
  • Managing Risk - $345K

The Program consists of the following projects which focus on preparing for, responding to and recovery from disasters. These projects target social, economic and environmental needs in our community to increase our resilience across all three areas.

  1. Vegetation Mapping – to undertake the best available quality vegetation mapping in priority areas of Bellingen Shire and to make this electronic mapping accessible to Council and the Public.

  2. Alternative Routes Report – to address the concerns of community members living in areas with a single route in and out including Dorrigo to the coast, Darkwood and Kalang Roads.

  3. Indigenous Methods and Protection – to provide community with information on traditional methods of fire management.

  4. Identification of Safe Places – to work with RFS and other agencies to provide community with clear information about evacuation locations and community safer places.

  5. Personal and Community Support – to provide practical, accessible, hands on guidance to support household bush fire planning.

  6. Street Scape – to reinvigorate our community’s tourism industry and sense of civic pride by refreshing shop facades and enhancing existing public spaces.

  7. Branding – a participatory process of consultation leading to consistent new digital collateral for Bellingen Shire that all business stakeholders can use.

  8. Well-being and Mental Health – to understand and respond to bushfire affected community mental health priorities, leverage and promote training and service opportunities for affected individuals and communities and Council staff, coordinate Bellingen Shire’s work with the health and well-being sub-committee and other agencies.

  9. Disaster Response Pilot (Coronavirus) – trial, in the context of COVID-19, of a community collaboration with council that developed tools, processes and systems that can be applied in future disasters to support the community.

  10. Program and Inter-agency Coordination – program coordination staffing, community meetings and some communication.

  11. Emergency Information – a Disaster Dashboard providing information on Shire infrastructure and weather conditions, a directory of community resources and activities to improve community knowledge on what to do in preparation for and during an emergency.

  12. Community Resilience Hub – to form two community deliberative panels focused on Community Resilience and Water. The Community Resilience Deliberative panel in November 2020 worked to understand issues related to community resilience for the Shire, to explore the role of Council, the community and others in building capacity, and to make recommendations for future planning on Community Resilience.

  13. Community Resilience Scholarship Scheme, Charles Sturt University – to provide scholarships to 15 members of the community to complete 2 modules: Leading Change and Building Community Resilience.

  14. Community Resilience and Food Recommendation Progression – to work with the community to generate projects to take forward shire wide resilience building.

  15. RFS Access to Rainforest and Koala Habitat – to advocate for greater prioritisation of fire trail management plans that improve access for RFS to rainforest and koala habitats.

  16. Review of State Risk Planning for Natural Asset Category – to advocate for the urgent review and amendment of state risk planning policies to prioritise the inclusion of a natural asset category.

  17. Get Ready Grants, up to $10,000 – to assist the community in managing risk against bushfires and other natural disasters.

  18. Get Together Grants, up to $3,500 – to assist the community in effectively responding to and recovering from emergencies.

  19. Assist and Empower Grants, up to $15,000 – to assist the community in enabling, empowering and supporting community resilience.

Projects 17-19 are funded by the Expanded Public Grants Scheme (totalling $465K), called the Bushfire Recovery & Resilience Bush Fire Grants.

All projects were determined through consultations with stakeholders and community advisory panel meetings in March 2020. For more information please see this report which provides a detailed outline of the process.

For the status of the above project please see the LGA Grants - Progress Report listed in the documents section on this page.

Please follow this link for information on all Disaster Assistance Grants.

If you would like to find out more about the Program, or have specific questions, please email, phone or drop in and see Liz Hull or Clare Danby.

Clare Danby - email cdanby@bellingen.nsw.gov.au or phone – 0428 720502

Liz Hull – email lhull@bellingen.nsw.gov.au or phone – 0429 001059

For updates on projects please join our Resilience@BelloShire Facebook page.


Since late 2019 our community has faced challenges including drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19. Bellingen Shire has shown itself as a very resilient community, able to cope with stressors and to recovery quickly. However, there are those amongst us who have struggled with stresses such as fear, loneliness and trauma. We are pleased that Bellingen’s Bushfire Recovery and Resilience funds are being channelled into projects and grants that provide opportunities for community led activities and innovation that can help make us all more resilient in our day to day lives and readier to cope with and recover from disasters.

The adjusted Bushfire Recovery & Resilience Program was unanimously approved at Extraordinary Council meeting on 29th July 2020.

The Program ($1.5 million) framework is organised in three themes:

  • Effective Response to and Recovery from Emergency - $672K
  • Enabling, Empowering, and Support Community Resilience - $483K
  • Managing Risk - $345K

The Program consists of the following projects which focus on preparing for, responding to and recovery from disasters. These projects target social, economic and environmental needs in our community to increase our resilience across all three areas.

  1. Vegetation Mapping – to undertake the best available quality vegetation mapping in priority areas of Bellingen Shire and to make this electronic mapping accessible to Council and the Public.

  2. Alternative Routes Report – to address the concerns of community members living in areas with a single route in and out including Dorrigo to the coast, Darkwood and Kalang Roads.

  3. Indigenous Methods and Protection – to provide community with information on traditional methods of fire management.

  4. Identification of Safe Places – to work with RFS and other agencies to provide community with clear information about evacuation locations and community safer places.

  5. Personal and Community Support – to provide practical, accessible, hands on guidance to support household bush fire planning.

  6. Street Scape – to reinvigorate our community’s tourism industry and sense of civic pride by refreshing shop facades and enhancing existing public spaces.

  7. Branding – a participatory process of consultation leading to consistent new digital collateral for Bellingen Shire that all business stakeholders can use.

  8. Well-being and Mental Health – to understand and respond to bushfire affected community mental health priorities, leverage and promote training and service opportunities for affected individuals and communities and Council staff, coordinate Bellingen Shire’s work with the health and well-being sub-committee and other agencies.

  9. Disaster Response Pilot (Coronavirus) – trial, in the context of COVID-19, of a community collaboration with council that developed tools, processes and systems that can be applied in future disasters to support the community.

  10. Program and Inter-agency Coordination – program coordination staffing, community meetings and some communication.

  11. Emergency Information – a Disaster Dashboard providing information on Shire infrastructure and weather conditions, a directory of community resources and activities to improve community knowledge on what to do in preparation for and during an emergency.

  12. Community Resilience Hub – to form two community deliberative panels focused on Community Resilience and Water. The Community Resilience Deliberative panel in November 2020 worked to understand issues related to community resilience for the Shire, to explore the role of Council, the community and others in building capacity, and to make recommendations for future planning on Community Resilience.

  13. Community Resilience Scholarship Scheme, Charles Sturt University – to provide scholarships to 15 members of the community to complete 2 modules: Leading Change and Building Community Resilience.

  14. Community Resilience and Food Recommendation Progression – to work with the community to generate projects to take forward shire wide resilience building.

  15. RFS Access to Rainforest and Koala Habitat – to advocate for greater prioritisation of fire trail management plans that improve access for RFS to rainforest and koala habitats.

  16. Review of State Risk Planning for Natural Asset Category – to advocate for the urgent review and amendment of state risk planning policies to prioritise the inclusion of a natural asset category.

  17. Get Ready Grants, up to $10,000 – to assist the community in managing risk against bushfires and other natural disasters.

  18. Get Together Grants, up to $3,500 – to assist the community in effectively responding to and recovering from emergencies.

  19. Assist and Empower Grants, up to $15,000 – to assist the community in enabling, empowering and supporting community resilience.

Projects 17-19 are funded by the Expanded Public Grants Scheme (totalling $465K), called the Bushfire Recovery & Resilience Bush Fire Grants.

All projects were determined through consultations with stakeholders and community advisory panel meetings in March 2020. For more information please see this report which provides a detailed outline of the process.

For the status of the above project please see the LGA Grants - Progress Report listed in the documents section on this page.

Please follow this link for information on all Disaster Assistance Grants.

If you would like to find out more about the Program, or have specific questions, please email, phone or drop in and see Liz Hull or Clare Danby.

Clare Danby - email cdanby@bellingen.nsw.gov.au or phone – 0428 720502

Liz Hull – email lhull@bellingen.nsw.gov.au or phone – 0429 001059

For updates on projects please join our Resilience@BelloShire Facebook page.


Please feel free to comment on the overall Program or Projects covered. We are interested to hear from you!

Introduction message

Thanks for the question Ruth There was a link on the Bushfire Recovery and Resilience Grants create page to the online application site (in related projects section on right hand panel of this page) - but we have now put this link more widely across this page and the grants page so that it is hopefully more obvious. At the top of each page in the right hand panel there is also now a clear APPLY NOW link that will take you straight through. Do let us know if you are still struggling to find this since we have made these changes - as we are very keen that this is as easy as possible! The Deliberation panel is being managed independently so we at council don't own the application process or have access to applicant information I am afraid- we are still chasing a response to your question from the facilitators of this and will come back to you. As discussed on the phone, we have a feeling though that there was no automated acknowledgement of responses - as we are aware that this concern came up from a few applicants and we also know a lot of applications were received, which is fantastic. Note - please add questions to the questions tab - and it will ensure you get a response directly (this it the guestbook for any general comments that do not require a response)

Liz Hull 11 months ago

Are there forms to fill in for the grants?
I'm having difficulty finding details on Create.
Who do you phone in Council for help?
I tried registering for Deliberation Panel but don't know if I registered, no feedback. Phoned Liz Hull a few times but haven't found out yet.

Ruth Holmes 11 months ago