Rebuilding and repairing
Decisions about if, when and how to rebuild will be different for every household and business impacted by bushfire. This page aims to give you an overview of what you can do now, what's been put in place to assist rebuilding following bushfire, and what's involved in clean up and rebuilding.
On this page:
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.
- If your property has been impacted, the first step is to register for clean-up with Service NSW online or by phoning 13 77 88.
- Head contractor Laing O'Rourke is managing the clean up, including engaging local contractors and contacting property owners.
- In Eurobodalla up to 400,000 tonnes of demolition material needs to be removed from fire-impacted properties. Council is finalising an agreement with the NSW Government to see this progress safely and swiftly. This agreement will see a large percentage of the demolition waste accepted at our tips using NSW government-supplied machinery and labour to manage the vast volumes.
- Clean-up officially began on Thursday 20 February with the first site in Mogo cleared.
- The NSW Government expects that most residential properties will be substantially cleared by 30 June 2020. It may take longer to clean up isolated properties in remote areas and regions where there is still active fire.
- While demolition and clean-up is taking place, you can begin preparing plans to rebuild if you choose. We recommend you contact your preferred building design professional to begin the process.
Find out more about site clean-up, including what's included and the steps involved, on the Service NSW website:
Local businesses and contractors register
Local businesses can sign up for the NSW Government bushfire supplier list. The purpose of the supplier list is to connect buyers with local suppliers so they can give first preference to an appropriate local supplier wherever possible.
Qualified contractors can register interest in performing clean-up work, and any local businesses and contractors with the capacity to provide goods or services to bushfire affected areas can register to do so:
Tree and vegetation removal
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 E4, 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:
- T: 4474 1231
- E: email@example.com
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:
Changes to planning rules to assist rebuilding
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.
- Read about recent planning changes to assist communities to recover from NSW bushfires - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
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.
- These works must meet criteria in this Codes SEPP in order to be carried out without Council approval.
- Read about temporary rules for building works - amendments to the Codes SEPP - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
- Consideration of asbestos removal will also be required.
For more information on works that can be carried out without Council approval, please contact the Bushfire Response Advice Line:
- T: 13 77 88
- E: Bushfire Response Advice Line
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.
- Latest amendments: Temporary accommodation - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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.
Rebuilding and approvals
- 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:
- T: 4474 1231
- E: Council's Development Help Desk
- If your building plans fit into a Complying Development category under the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, any Accredited Certifier can issue the Complying Development Certificate. You can find an Accredited Certifier on the NSW Government's Fair Trading website.
- Dwellings that were destroyed or damaged by bushfire will generally require some type of approval. Council is working out a process to ensure these approvals can be as streamlined as possible. We will keep this page updated and provide details as soon as we can.
- Dedicated assessment officers will be put in place 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.
- You will need to have the plans revised, or a new design developed, to show your BASIX commitments, bushfire construction requirements, and any changes you would like to make to the design.
- Find out more about lodging a Development Application.
- Email Council's Development Help Desk for assistance.
- 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.
- Read about your level of bushfire risk and what it means on the NSW RFS website.
- Council has offered to complete bushfire assessments for all property owners affected by the recent 2019/2020 bushfires. If you would like to register for Council to issue you with a Bushfire Attack Level assessment, please contact us:
- T: 4474 1231
- E: Council's Development Help Desk
Building design professionals
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:
- Adair Building Design & Drafting: 4472 2331
- Anthony Knobel Architect: 0403 451 602
- Axell Lars & Associcates: 4476 4119
- Bell Building Consultancy: 4473 8691
- BHI Architects: 4472 9927
- Chris McInerney Architecture & Environmental Design: 0419 961 948
- Concepz4U: 0414 182 117
- DF Drafting & Building Designs: 0401 536 509
- Domain Drafting: 0428 833 324
- Dual Design: 0429 351 700
- Easy Step Building Applications: 0459 272 806
- Edmiston Jones Architects: 4472 7388
- EP Drafting Pty Ltd: 4472 1088
- Geoff Lovie Architect Pty Ltd: 0404 899 111
- GJ Gardner Homes Batemans Bay: 4472 1628
- GMJ Design & Construct: 4476 5305
- Hallahan & Associates: 4474 4046
- iarchitecture: 4472 9927
- Involve Design: 4471 5998
- Kringas Architecture: 0438 438 211
- Maidla Ted Building Design: 4478 1128
- Masterton Homes Batemans Bay: 1300 44 66 37
- Multicad Pty Ltd: 4472 1611
- One Design Drafting: 0418 487 225
- Paul Dolphin Designs: 0429 204 924
- Penny Foster Architectural Drafting: 0457 321 366
- Peter Freeman Pty Ltd Conservation Architects & Planners: 0407 265 920
- Pitch Design Planning Drafting: 0466 641 890
- Richard Davies Design: 0474 931 673
- Richard Loxton Architect: 4471 3461
- Ryan L N Southtech Design: 4474 2120
- Seidel Drafting & Building Design: 0428 777 570
- Sixtoeight Building Design: 0409 925 317
- Susan McCalmont Design: 4476 3390
- Technibuild Consulting: 0419 938 301
- Thomas Caddaye Architects: 0402 266 900
- Tim Cowley Design and Build: 0427 557 268
- 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
- The NSW Government will provide stamp duty relief for people who lost their homs and choose to purchase a home elsewhere rather than rebuild. People purchasing replacement homes will only begin paying stamp duty once the amount payable exceeds $55,000.
- Information on how to apply for a refund and eligibility requirements will be available from Service NSW and Revenue NSW websites from March 10. Eligible people who have already paid duty will be able to apply for a refund.
Water and sewer services
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, they can contact Council to arrange reconnection free of charge.
Damaged on-site sewage management systems
- 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:
- phone Council on 4474 1000
- phone the local NSW Health Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055
- NSW Health fact sheet: bushfires and on-site wastewater systems
More information and fact sheets
- NSW clean-up program
- Building after bushfire - NSW Rural Fire Service
- Register for bushfire clean-up - Service NSW
- Waste and cleanup - NSW Government Justice Office of Emergency Management
- Returning to your home, conducting repairs, and rebuilding - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
- 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.