Supporting Bushfire Relief & Recovery

07 Jan 2020 policy

Our country is facing devastating and widespread national bushfires.

They have been burning throughout the country for months now but have escalated, with a state of emergency declared in NSW and Victoria while Tasmania and South Australia also face significant threats.

We are well prepared, well organised and well resourced, but we are also realistic: These fire conditions are unprecedented, and the challenge is formidable.

This is why the Morrison Government is acting to:

  • Call out Australian Defence Force Reserve Brigades for the first time in the country’s history, together with specialist personnel;
  • Deploy HMAS Adelaide to support the efforts of HMAS Choules and MV Sycamore, as well as additional Chinook helicopters, C-17 Globemasters, C-130 Hercules and C-27 Spartans; and
  • Lease four extra waterbombing planes for the States and Territories to deploy.

This will mean boots on the ground, planes in the sky and ships out at sea all supporting the bushfire fighting effort and recovery.

The ADF surge includes the deployment of up to 3,000 designated ADF Reserve forces including the 4th Brigade from Victoria, the 5th Brigade from New South Wales, and the 9th Brigade from South Australia and Tasmania and specialist logistic elements of the 17th Brigade headquartered in New South Wales to push Defence resources into fire affected areas.

The Morrison Government will stand alongside these communities every step of the way as they rebuild.

We have:

  • Delivered nearly $25 million in Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance;
  • Used the Defence Force to provide relief to isolated communities, reconnect power, evacuate civilians, fly in critical supplies (like fuel, water and food) and clear firebreaks;
  • Opened Mobile Service Centres and extended Centrelink’s phone hours, including opening over the weekend; and
  • Committed $40 million in community development grants.

We urge Australians to keep informed about the situation in their area and to follow the directions of state and territory authorities and the ADF as they work to keep people safe.

We will do whatever it takes to get Australians through these terrible times.


Anyone affected by the bushfires can contact the Department of Human Services on 180 22 66 to seek advice on eligibility for financial assistance or visit for more information.