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Rebuilding and repairing

If your home or business premises was destroyed or damaged by bushfire, support and guidance is available. Council recognises the mental, emotional and physical stresses of rebuilding after the bushfires.

Council has a dedicated team of Development Assessment Officers working with residents rebuilding after the bushfires and these Development Applications (DAs) are being given priority.

This page covers topics where Council plays a role - such as DAs and vegetation removal - but you can also sign up to receive email updates about other support options, grants, and new announcements from programs and organisations other than Council. Sent roughly once a month, you can sign up online and get the latest recovery information emailed directly to you.

If you are considering rebuilding after the recent bushfires, please refer to our development process page. However, please also note these items that are relevant to bushfire-related rebuilds:

  • Outbuildings, garages, carports, cabanas etc, may not require approval.
    Find out more in the State Environmental Planning Policy for exempt development or contact Council to find out if you need approval:
  • If your building plans fit into a Complying Development category under the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy, any Accredited Certifier can issue the Complying Development Certificate. You can find an Accredited Certifier on the NSW Government's Fair Trading website.
  • Dedicated assessment officers are working to fast track all applications for the rebuilding of fire affected properties. In general, the timeframe for processing a Development Application is up to one month.
  • If we have a record of your development consent and you only want to reconstruct what has been destroyed, you may only need a Construction Certificate to start rebuilding. This only applies to development consents after 2006. Consents issued prior to 2006 will likely require a modified development consent to include a condition requiring compliance with the NSW Rural Fire Services Planning for Bushfire Protection.
  • Landowners seeking to build something different to what has been destroyed, or where there are no records, will need to lodge a Development Application.
  • Regardless of whether you need a Development Application and/or Construction Certificate, you will need an up-to-date bushfire assessment and Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment. As part of your rebuild process, you will need to confirm your BAL in a written report.
  • The NSW Rural Fire Service have offered to issue Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Certificates to all property owners affected by the recent 2019/2020 bushfires. If you would like to access this offer please email the RFS:

NSW bushfire clean-up program

The NSW and Commonwealth governments are covering the cost and coordinating clean up of eligible NSW properties that have been destroyed by bushfires since 1 July 2019.

Insured and uninsured properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes are eligible for the clean-up program. Trained and licensed contractors will determine the safety requirements and the eligibility of properties.

Across NSW more than 2,950 bushfire-affected properties have been cleared. Registrations are still open and the program will continue for as long as new registrations are received. There is no end-date to opt-in.


  • The NSW clean-up program will include removing asbestos waste by a licensed asbestos removalist.
  • Each site is assessed and where asbestos is identified or is likely to be present, the site is sprayed down with a sealant.
  • Hazard notices are displayed on properties to provide advice for owners. You can find out the status of your property by phoning Service NSW on 1800 885 539.
  • Do not enter your property until you are advised that it is safe to do so.

The NSW Government has made changes to planning rules to make it easier for people to rebuild after bushfires.

People impacted by bushfire will be able to:

  • clean-up and make their properties safe without needing planning approvals
  • store their belongings onsite, such as in shipping containers, while they rebuild
  • establish temporary accommodation, such as caravans, without requiring Council approval

Government services and agencies will continue to identify other ways they can support the recovery and rebuild effort, and we will keep this page updated with any new information.

Temporary rules for building works

Amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) allow a range of low impact works to be carried out as exempt development.

For more information on works that can be carried out without Council approval, please contact the Bushfire Response Advice Line:

Temporary accommodation

Amendments to the Local Government (Manufactured Homes Estates, Caravan Parks, Camping Grounds and Moveable Dwellings) Amendment (Bush Fire Response) Regulation 2020 (Local Government Regulation) will assist in the provision of emergency accommodation for people affected by bushfires.

The Bushfire Housing Assistance Service provides help with:

  • emergency temporary accommodation
  • a private rental bond and advance rent costs
  • sourcing accommodation options from the private rental and short-term housing sector
  • sourcing accommodation options in your local communities or areas where you have family or local networks.

To access the service phone the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444, or visit the Department of Communities and Justice Housing website and enter your postcode, suburb or town in the search bar to find your nearest housing office.

The NSW Disaster Recovery Facebook page also provides updates and important information for communities in recovery.

  • BASIX and Planning Reform fees: The NSW Government has announced it will waive or refund all BASIX Certificate and Planning Reform fees on Development Applications related to homes damaged or destroyed in the recent bushfires. Affected property owners can contact the Department to arrange for a BASIX Certificate to be issued free of charge:
    • T: 1300 054 464

Ecological reports provide information relating to the flora and fauna habitat values on a property, along with the potential impacts from an activity such as land development, and are often required to accompany Development Applications. Ecological reports can include Flora and Fauna Assessment Reports, Ecological Assessment Reports, Flora and Fauna Impact Assessments, Biodiversity Assessment Reports and Test of Significance.

Council cannot guarantee the suitability of any individual environmental consultant to your unique circumstance, but this list of known consultants by local government area can help you start a conversation so you can find an environmental consultant with qualifications relevant to your proposal:

Eurobodalla Shire

Shoalhaven Shire

Bega Valley Shire

We recommend you engage a building designer or draftsperson to prepare your updated house plans for you. Using a qualified professional who is familiar with the approval process and documentation will ensure a smooth process.

Check with your building designer or email Council’s Development Help Desk about the best application process for your needs.

Here is a list of known building design professionals servicing Eurobodalla:

Water and sewer connections

Council’s water and sewer service lines into properties destroyed by bushfire have been temporarily disconnected to prevent leaks and to ensure the infrastructure is not damaged during the clean-up phase. When property owners are ready to rebuild, contact Council to arrange reconnection.

Damaged on-site sewage management systems (OSSM)

  • Depending on the extent of damage to your system, it may not suitable for use until it is repaired or replaced.
  • Damaged systems should be inspected by a licensed plumber or authorised technician to determine the extent of the damage.
  • Water use should be reduced until the system is inspected and repaired.
  • If the tank/s presents a trip or fall hazard, ensure the area around the tank is made safe, eg, cover the tank and use a temporary fence.
  • If you are replacing the system in accordance with existing approval, there is no requirement to submit an application. The work must be done by a suitably qualified person. Prior to works, submit a notice of works to Council and a works as executed plan upon completion.
  • If you wish to modify the type or location of the system, please contact Council. Any modifications will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
  • Find out more:

Water supply and tanks

  • Ash is unlikely to be a health risk but may affect the appearance and taste of water.
  • Residents concerned with the taste, look or smell of their tank water should use an alternative safe water supply, such as bottled water, for drinking, preparing food, cleaning teeth or watering animals.
  • If your water supply has been contaminated by fire retardant, extra precautions are required, please read NSW Health advice about fire retardants and private water supplies.
  • There is no compensation for voluntary use of water to wet buildings or grounds during a bushfire.
  • For residents not connected to the water supply AND where RFS have taken water or contaminated roofs with fire retardant, contact Disaster Welfare Assistance:
    • T: 1800 018 444
  • Council’s water and sewer service lines into properties destroyed by bushfire have been temporarily disconnected to prevent leaks and to ensure the infrastructure is not damaged during the clean-up phase. When property owners are ready to rebuild, contact Council to arrange reconnection.

Water carriers

For residents not connected to Council’s water supply can contact a water carrier for water supply, or a plumber for tank cleaning services.

Here are known water carriers that service the Eurobodalla Shire. Council acknowledges this is not a comprehensive list and residents should do their own research:

  • Shoalhaven Excavations: Ulladulla, 4423 2824
  • Emery Excavations: South Durras, 0458 206 542
  • Eurocoast Water: North Batemans Bay, 0427 712 283
  • Brett O'Mealey: Nelligen, 0438 864 909
  • Eurobodalla Tipper & Tanker Hire: Batemans Bay, 0411 044 276
  • Batemans Bay Excavations: Batemans Bay, 0408 948 251
  • Greenlands Garden Centre: Moruya, 0429 440 925
  • Purely Water: Moruya, 0458 937 085
  • Moruya H2O: Moruya, 0427 745 133
  • Tilba Tipper & Water Hire: Narooma, 0448 737 344
  • Narooma Water Cartage: Central Tilba, 0409 916 615
  • Welsh's Tipper & Water Hire: Cobargo, 0408 167 172
  • RD Miller: Bega, 6492 7333

Fire damaged green waste

  • Burnt vegetation of appropriate size can be put in green-lid organic waste bins for kerbside collection. Please do not put tree stumps or branches thicker than 75mm in green-lid bins.
  • Do not put green waste out loose on the kerb, it will not be collected.
  • Do not undertake unapproved clearing on public land or illegally dump green waste in forests or reserves.

Removing trees on private land

Trees on private urban land that are considered to be an imminent risk to life or property do not require Council approval to be removed.

Urban land consists of zones C4, R5, R2, R3, B1, B2, B4, B5 and RU5. All other zones are considered rural. You can use the NSW Planning Portal to confirm your property's zoning.

  • If the tree is considered to be an imminent risk, the owner should contact the SES or an arborist to have the tree removed.
  • Property owners should take a photo of the tree smouldering/leaning over the dwelling and email it to Council as a record:
  • If the owner does not consider the tree an imminent risk to life or property, the standard tree removal application process applies. For more information, contact the Development Help Desk:
  • Elderly or disabled residents in fire prone areas can access the NSW Rural Fire Service AIDER Program, a one-off service to reduce bushfire hazards on currently unaffected properties.

Removing trees on rural land

For removal of vegetation on rural land (zones RU1 and RU4) contact Local Land Service on 6491 7800.

NSW RFS 10/50 Code

Another avenue for exemption from approval to remove a tree is the NSW Rural Fire Service 10/50 Code. Please check the RFS website to ensure that your property is eligible:

Report hazardous trees on Council-managed land

Please contact us to report trees on Council-managed land for hazard assessment:

The NSW Government has committed $209 million to help bushfire-affected landholders with the cost of rebuilding boundary fences adjoining public lands.

You are eligible to receive up to $5,000 per kilometre to contribute to replacing damaged boundary fences if you:

  1. are a private landholder who shares a boundary with public land
  2. were impacted by the bushfires in late 2019 and early 2020.

For the purposes of this grant, public lands includes:

  • National parks Forestry Corporation land
  • Traveling stock reserves
  • Crown reserves, tenured roads and leases
  • Roads managed by Roads and Maritime Services or Local Government.

Grants can be issued retrospectively to cover costs already incurred.

Public health fact sheets

More information

Contact us

For more information and assistance with rebuilding, contact Council's Development Help Desk:

  • T: 02 4474 1231
  • E: Council's Development Help Desk
  • visit our customer service centre at the corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.