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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.

Get regular updates

This page mostly relates to topics where Council plays a role - such as development applications 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 straight to your inbox.

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Site clean-up

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.

More information

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.

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:

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:

Public land boundary fencing grants

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.

Planning changes 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.

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.

Waived fees

  • DA Fee Rebate: People whose homes were destroyed or significantly damaged in the 2019/2020 bushfires can apply for a Development Application (DA) fee rebate up to $1,000 to assist with DA costs to rebuild their home.
  • 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
  • Stamp duty relief: 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.
  • Long Service Levy exemptions: The Building and Construction Industry Long Service Payments Regulation 2017 Clause 12A allows for full or partial exemptions specifically for the NSW bushfires of 2019/2020.
    • Exemptions are for the replacement or repair of buildings that were destroyed or damaged (other than the erection of a building on behalf of a government body) as a result of the NSW bushfires in the period starting 1 July 2019 and ending 2 March 2020.
    • A Long Service Levy on these builds is not payable in respect of the first $1,000,000 (incl of GST) of the costs of erecting a building.
    • Applications must be submitted to the Corporation prior to 2 March 2023.
    • Find out more on the Long Service Corporation website.

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:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:

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:

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 onsite sewer management systems (OSMS)

  • 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:

More information and fact sheets

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.