Contact us: +61 8 8226 8800

Department of Human Services

Cudlee Creek fire recovery

From Friday, 20 December, fires occurred in the Mount Lofty Ranges during catastrophic conditions.

For emergency relief or recovery support, you can attend the recovery centre.

If you are affected by the fires on Kangaroo Island, you are also welcome to access support and assistance from the Lobethal Recovery Centre.

Recovery centre

Fabrik Arts and Heritage in the Old Woollen Mill
1 Lobethal Road

Opening hours

Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: Closed

Phone (during opening hours only) 0418 213 269

Recovery Hotline and Local Coordinator

Recovery Hotline and Local Coordinator

Phone 1800 302 787 if you have been affected by the fire and need information and support.

Local Recovery Coordinator

Alex Zimmermann was appointed Local Recovery Coordinator for the Cudlee Creek Fire on 22 December 2019.

He will work closely with the affected community to help them understand their recovery needs and identify what additional supports are required.

Phone Alex on 0418 258 304.

Community events

Community events

WEBINAR - (Re) Constructing Native Grasslands and management post-fire

Date: Monday 30th March 2020

Venue: Free webinar

Description: Join Andrew Fairney of Seeding Natives to find out more about:

  • Native grasses: identifying grasses which return after the fire, simple ways to increase their extent and management for the long term.
  • Native trees: Refurbishing shelter belts or paddock tree clusters
  • Find out about tree growing projects for fire and non-fire affected properties
  • Q & A on related topics, including sowing native seeds or shelter belts from scratch

Register for the webinar here

This project is jointly funded by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board,  the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board and Horse SA.

For more information visit Horse SA, email or phone 0402 488 306

WEBINAR - Pasture renewal for small horse properties

Date: Tuesday 31st March 2020

Venue: Online webinar

Description: Join us for a free webinar. The event will cover:

  • post-fire evaluation of paddocks
  • soil testing for nutrients and soil acidity management
  • establishing pastures for grazing and/or hay production
  • deciding what pasture varieties to plant.

Small landholders from non-fire affected areas or carrying other livestock species welcome.

Download the flyer

This project is supported by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board, the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM Board, and Horse SA.

Register for the webinar here

For more information email, or call 0402488306.

SA Bushfire Appeal

SA Bushfire Appeal

The South Australian government has launched the SA Bushfire Appeal to raise funds for people directly affected by bushfires in Cudlee Creek and on Kangaroo Island.

Every contribution, no matter how big or small, can make a difference to those most affected by this tragedy.

Donate now

SA Bushfire Appeal poster (PDF 824.0 KB)

Applying for financial assistance

If you have been directly affected by the fires in Cudlee Creek or on Kangaroo Island, you may be able to receive financial assistance from the SA Bushfire Appeal. You do this by making an application to the State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF).

Apply online

Questions about applications

Contact the Executive Officer, State Emergency Relief Fund Committee

Phone 8226 8966 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
Email State Emergency Relief Fund

Grants and financial assistance

Grants and financial assistance

You may be eligible for grants and other financial assistance.

Family and child support

Family and child support

DHS is providing Community Care free of charge for families with babies, children and young people.

Families are welcome to use the service, staffed by qualified and experienced professionals, as they ​undertake recovery efforts or need some respite.

Service will not be open on catastrophic fire days.

Location and bookings

Lobethal Lutheran School
48 Main St

Opening hours are 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday.

For bookings, phone 0428 159 838

What to bring

  • Medication
  • A bottle with milk or formula (if needed)
  • Other items (if available)
    • A comforter, special toy or game
    • Change of clothes
    • Drink bottle
    • A healthy snack and/or lunch
    • A sun hat
    • Nappies and wipes (if needed)

Child Care Flyer (PDF 127.7 KB)

Power and water supply

Power and water supply


People who are SA Water customers

If you are experiencing mains water outages, phone the SA Water Customer Care Centre on 1300 729 283.

Water Replenishment (as a result of preparing for, or fighting, fires)

If the CFS has used your water to fight fires, phone Mt Barker CFS Headquarters (Region 1) on 8391 1866 during office hours. The CFS will assess, prioritise and coordinate the delivery of water from SA Water to you.

As an SA Water customer, you will not be charged for water used to prepare or defend properties, or for water lost through pipes damaged in the fires.

If you have questions, or need support with water supply, phone SA Water on 1300 729 283.

SA Water website

Potable water carting businesses

For any other water needs, you can contact these potable water carting businesses operating in the area. They are prioritising people impacted by the Cudlee Creek Fire.

Note: most providers have a minimum delivery of 9,000L



Adelaide Hills Water Transport

0408 360 595

Waterman cartage, McLaren Vale

0409 676 527

Hills Water carting / Andy’s Water

08 8388 5846 or 0411 208769

Adelaide Hills bulk spring water

08 8390 1681 or 0439 901 681

Water for Livestock

If you need water for livestock to be delivered to your property, phone these potable water carting businesses operating in the area. They are prioritising people impacted by the Cudlee Creek Fire, but the first priority is water for people.



Adelaide Hills Water Transport

0408 360 595

Waterman cartage, McLaren Vale

0409 676 527

Hills Water carting / Andy’s Water

08 8388 5846 or 0411 208 769

Adelaide Hills bulk spring water

08 8390 1681 or 0439 901 681


Information on bushfires and rainwater quality

Power supply

Keep away from any electricity equipment that has been damaged during a bushfire and report it to SA Power Networks by phoning 13 13 66. SA Power Networks has more information on bushfires and power safety.



General enquiries

Telstra - bushfire support
Phone 13 22 00 or Telstra Business on 13 2000

Use payphones for free

The Telstra payphone network around the country is currently free for local, national and standard mobile calls. Telstra will also be allowing free use of the Telstra Air Wi-Fi network at locations where payphones are equipped to provide this.

People affected by fires

Anyone affected by fires, including people who have lost their houses, can register for a Telstra assistance package. Phone 13 22 03.

CFS volunteers

Telstra is offering to cover the cost of volunteer firefighter’s mobile phone bills over December and January. To register for this, phone 13 22 03.

Natural resources and agriculture

Natural resources and agriculture

Agricultural losses

PIRSA is assessing agricultural losses at Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island.

A 24-hour hotline number is available for animal owners seeking urgent assistance and information.

Phone 1800 255 556
Visit the PIRSA website

Animal welfare

Rescue and treatment of injured wildlife or domestic animals - Phone SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management) on 0477 055 233

RSPCA - Phone 1300 477 722

Fodder, agistment, accessing water resources, donations - Phone Livestock SA on 8297 2299

Horse SA bushfire information and contacts

Help in managing livestock, including information on containment feeding – Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges

Tips on helping wildlife affected by bushfires – Department for Environment and Water

Local vetsTelephone
Mount Barker Veterinary Clinic 8391 1404
Murray Bridge Veterinary Clinic 8531 4000
Meadows Veterinary Clinic 8388 3455
Willunga Veterinary Service 8556 2075

Windarra Park Veterinary Clinic

8388 1200 or after hours on 8378 3712

Water for livestock

See information on the 'Water Supply' page.

Burnt animals and destruction assistance

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and PIRSA provide advice on waste management, including the disposal of animal carcasses.

EPA guidance on the on-farm disposal of farm animals

EPA guidance on the on-farm disposal of farm animals (PDF 58.3 KB)

EPA guidance on preferred methods of disposal, taking into account local water supplies, and your insurance

EPA advice on livestock disposal. Phone 8204 2004

PIRSA Hotline – Assessment Request. Phone 1800 255 556

Livestock disposal services may be provided by these groups. Arrangement for this is between the contractor and livestock owner.

Thym Bitter - based in Gawler 0448 882 572
Chris Clothier - based in Strathalbyn 0407 610 261
Paul Jolly - based in Mt Barker 0417 809 966
Michael (MJD services) - based in Birdwood 0412 120 557
Ivan Noel - based in Gawler 0421 154 528

Soils, erosion, water and infrastructure

Simple ways to reduce erosion risk post-fire, manage soils, prevent contamination of farm dams and more - Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges

Weed management

Problem weeds post-fire and how to control them - Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges

Managing a rural property after a bushfire - Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges

Phone Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges on  8336 0901 (Black Hill)

Phone Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin on 8391 7500 (Mt Barker).

Local council contacts

Local council contacts

Council information

For the latest information on the Cudlee Creek fire recovery, including locations of community waste skip bins, please visit:

Adelaide Hills Council
Phone 8408 0400

Mount Barker District Council
Phone 8391 7200

Aboriginal heritage risk management

Aboriginal heritage risk management

Aboriginal heritage is protected – even after bushfire

Aboriginal heritage sites, objects and remains in South Australia are protected under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, including after bushfire events. While bushfire may impact or obscure Aboriginal heritage, it can also result in greater visibility of Aboriginal sites in the landscape.  Post-fire erosional processes can affect the integrity of known or undiscovered Aboriginal sites.

If you need to:

  • undertake ground disturbance
  • clear fire breaks
  • back burn

you should first submit an online search request via Taa wika to manage any risk of impact to reported or determined Aboriginal sites :

Contact to discuss Aboriginal heritage issues in fire impacted regions

Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island

Matt Schlitz
Principal Heritage Officer
Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation
Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Level 16, 30 Wakefield Street, ADELAIDE SA 5001
GPO Box 2343
Phone: 08 8303 0752

You can also visit the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) website Phone Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation on 1800 127 001 Email:

    Mental health and wellbeing

    Mental health and wellbeing

    People may experience grief or stress after a disaster like a bushfire. Sometimes the impact is obvious straight away, but often it is a slow process. Some impacts include shock, anger, depression, tension, irritability, anxiety or difficulty making decisions.

    Regional Access offers free professional telephone and online counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people 15 years and older living or working in regional South Australia.

    Phone 1300 032 186 for immediate support or visit the Regional Access website and follow the links for online counselling.

    Find out more about mental health support services after a disaster:

    Mental health support resources by region:

    Mental health resources for children

    Emergencies and disasters are extremely stressful and it is normal for children, even infants, to feel overwhelmed. Emerging Minds has developed a Community Trauma Toolkit to help adults and children understand the impacts of disaster and how to help lessen these impacts.

    Related information

    Emotional recovery

    Bushfires and rainwater quality

    Bushfires and rainwater quality

    Bushfires generate large amounts of ash and debris which have the potential to contaminate water.


    Although ash and debris in rainwater does not represent a health risk, it could affect the colour, the clarity and the taste of the water. The SA Health Water Quality team is available to answer questions during business hours.

    Phone 8226 7100

    More about rainwater quality after a fire:

    SA Health information on bushfires and water quality

    Guidance on use of rainwater tanks

    SA Health information on rainwater

    Dams and waterways

    Ash from burnt permapine (CCA timber, treated with copper, chromium and arsenic), is hazardous to livestock if significant amounts get into your dam or waterways.

    Free water quality testing is available for people who have concerns a significant amount of this ash is impacting the water quality of their dams or waterways.

    Testing water (Cudlee Creek)

    There is a very low risk of water contamination from burnt permapine posts, however, the Department for Environment and Water will fund testing by the Australian Water Quality Centre and have the results interpreted by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). It’s expected to take about 7 to 10 days for landholders to receive their results from the EPA (an email address will be requested when a sample is dropped off).

    Sample bottles can be collected, and dropped off, at the Lobethal Recovery Centre and the Natural Resources Centres of Mount Barker, Woodside and Eastwood.

    If you use your own bottle to collect water:

    • use a bottle that is clean and free of any contamination
    • avoid getting mud/debris in the bottle
    • provide only one sample per dam or waterbody.

    Details on how to collect a water sample from your dam or waterway, and strategies on how to improve your water quality, are available in this EPA fact sheet.

    Post-bushfire water quality in farm dams and creeks (PDF 230 KB)

    Blue-green and other algal outbreaks

    Aeration is the recommended method to manage algae.

    The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (WA) has some simple control methods for algae.

    If you would like to speak to someone about the quality of water in your dam or waterways, please contact Natural Resources staff.

    Document replacement

    Document replacement

    Birth or marriage certificate

    If you have lost documents in the fires, the fees associated with replacement copies will be waived. You can access a priority service to replace:

    • birth
    • marriage
    • change of name certificates.

    The Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages in any state will replace certificates free of charge. Free replacement certificates are restricted to documents for you and your immediate family.

    Replace certificates after a disaster

    Drivers licence or permit or Proof of Age card

    Service SA will waive administration fees for drivers licences and proof of age cards. You will need to provide:

    • Name
    • Date of birth
    • Confirmation of your residential and postal address
    • Your licence number (if known).

    Phone Service SA on 13 10 84 or go to a Service SA Customer Service Centre.


    You may be eligible for a free replacement passport if yours was lost or damaged in a bushfire.

    Australian Passport Replacement - Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
    Phone the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade on 131 232.

    If you have problems producing evidence about the loss of your property, you can ask for a letter of support. Phone the South Australian Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 or visit your local Recovery Centre.

    Prescription for medicine

    If you are a resident or firefighter affected by the Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek bushfires and don’t have access to your medicines or prescriptions, contact a local GP (or other health practitioner involved in your care).

    If it is not possible for you to obtain a prescription, go to a pharmacy and explain your situation and the medicines you need. The pharmacist will see if you are eligible for an emergency supply of your medicine without a prescription.

    Medicines for people affected by the Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek bushfires (SA Health)


    If you have banknotes that have been damaged in the fires, you can submit a damaged banknote claim. The Reserve Bank will determine the value of the damaged banknotes and reimburse you the assessed amount. This may be less than the face value of the banknote/s.

    Redeeming damaged banknotes

    Related information — recovering fire-damaged records

    National Archives has advice on how to salvage different types of material after a fire

    Donations and volunteering

    Donations and volunteering

    Donating money

    SA Bushfire Appeal

    The South Australian government has launched the SA Bushfire Appeal to raise funds for people directly affected by bushfires in Cudlee Creek and on Kangaroo Island.

    Every contribution, no matter how big or small, can make a difference to those most affected by this tragedy.

    Donate to the SA Bushfire Appeal

    Wildlife Recovery Fund

    In partnership with the Nature Foundation SA, National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia has launched the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

    This fund will be used to re-establish habitat for wildlife, particularly threatened and vulnerable species, in bushfire-affected regions in South Australia.

    Donate to the Wildlife Recovery Fund

    Donating goods

    Please do not use emergency relief centres or recovery centres as drop-off points for donations. Dealing with donations diverts staff away from helping people who need their support.

    Donations of money are the best way to help disaster-affected communities recover, as this lets people buy exactly what they need and spend locally.

    Donations of goods:

    • often don’t match the needs of the community
    • pose real challenges to store, administer, distribute and dispose of.

    Donation options

    Consider holding a garage sale and converting the goods into money you can donate.

    Ask charity groups if they can use your goods. Please ask before you donate.

    St Vincent de Paul Society (Vinnies)
    Phone: 13 18 12
    St Vincent de Paul website

    Donating food and groceries

    Foodbank SA, 377 Cross Rd, Edwardstown (Open 9.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday)
    Phone: 8351 1136
    Foodbank website

    Donating animal fodder and agistment

    Livestock SA
    Phone: 8297 2299
    Livestock SA website


    Volunteer your time and skills through Volunteering SA/NT.

    Register using the WeDo App
    Phone 1300 782 322
    Volunteering SA/NT website

    Clean up and waste management

    Legal advice for disaster-affected communities

    The Law Society and the Legal Services Commission of South Australia offer free legal advice for those affected by a disaster.

    Urgent legal advice

    Contact the Legal Services Commission on weekdays between 9.00 am and 4.30 pm.

    Phone 1300 366 424 to access the free telephone advisory service.

    Non-urgent legal advice

    The Law Society maintains a register of lawyers who have volunteered to be on hand to provide free legal assistance to victims of disasters.


    Free mediation service

    Uniting Communities is offering a free mediation service to assist with neighbourhood disputes resulting from the fires.

    Visit Uniting Communities or phone 8342 1800. Please state you are a victim of the bushfires when making an appointment to ensure your case is given priority with booking times.

    Free immigration advice

    The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) South Australia branch is offering free immigration advice and assistance to bushfire affected businesses and visa applicants.

    Visit the MIA South Australia website for more information.

    Loss of motor vehicle or registered boat

    Loss of motor vehicle or registered boat

    If you have lost registered motor vehicles because of the fires, you can ask for a refund of some of your Registration and Third Party Insurance fees (PDF 130KB).

    If you have lost a registered boat, you can ask for a refund of the unexpired registration fee (PDF 960KB). You need to state that the boat was destroyed in a recent fire.

    All administration/processing fees will be waived.

    Send forms to Service SA

    Mail to GPO Box 1533, Adelaide SA 5001
    Present in person at any Service SA Customer Service Centre.

    Rebuilding structures

    Rebuilding structures

    Architectural assistance

    If you lost your home due to natural disaster and were uninsured or grossly under-insured, you may be able to get free advice from a registered architect.

    Depending on your specific situation, the assistance may vary, from simple advice to full design and planning services.

    You may also apply on behalf of a small local business or community that has lost its assets, such as shops, halls, churches or theatres.

    Apply for architect assistance

    Rebuilding fences

    When rebuilding fences, you must consider:

    Home batteries

    Home batteries for bushfire rebuilding

    Native Vegetation

    Native Vegetation

    Native vegetation is still protected – even after bushfire

    Native vegetation in most parts of South Australia is protected under the Native Vegetation Act 1991, including after bushfire events.

    If you need to:

    • back burn
    • clear fire breaks
    • remove vegetation for access

    you must first check to see if you need approval.

    Managing native vegetation after fire

    Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges have prepared information on:

    • clearance
    • biodiversity
    • how burnt trees regenerate
    • the importance of trees to shelter native wildlife and prevent soil erosion.

    Managing native vegetation after fire

    Contacts to discuss native vegetation issues in fire-affected regions

    Cudlee Creek

    Elisa Sparrow
    District Ecologist, Fleurieu Willunga Basin
    Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges
    Phone: 08 8550 3419
    Mobile: 0428 861 613
    5 Aldinga Road, Willunga SA 5172
    PO Box 781, Willunga SA 5172

    Kangaroo Island

    Mr Kym Lashmar
    Natural Resources Centre - Kingscote
    37 Dauncey Street, Kingscote, SA, 5223
    PO Box 39, Kingscote,SA, 5223
    Phone: 08 8553 4444
    Mobile: 0419 857 144

    Keilira region and other South East fires

    Jacqui Owen
    Bush Management Advisor – Habitat Conservation (Mon - Wed)
    Natural Resources South East
    Department for Environment and Water
    Phone: 08 8762 9702
    Mobile: 0428 155 989
    101 Cedar Avenue/PO Box 93
    Naracoorte SA 5271

    You can also visit the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) website
    Phone the DEW Native Vegetation Branch on 8303 9777

    Business assistance

    Business assistance

    If your business has been affected by bushfire, visit Business SA Bushfire Support or phone the Business Advice Hotline on 8300 0000

    Recovery grants for small business

    A grant of up to $50,000 is available for eligible small businesses affected by the bushfires for costs associated with clean-up, restoration and rebuilding.

    The grant is designed to assist with the immediate costs of beginning to rebuild and recover and is provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth–State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

    Visit the Supporting Business in South Australia website to learn more about eligibility criteria and to apply.

    Phone the SA Department for Innovation and Skills on 1300 142 820

    Rural business financial counselling

    Visit Rural Business Support
    Phone 8364 2577

    Bushfire response survey for tourism businesses

    The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) wants to hear from South Australian tourism operators.

    If you have been directly or indirectly affected by the recent fires, you can give feedback through the Tourism Business Bushfire Response Survey.

    The survey will help identify key priorities for recovery of the tourism industry.

    The South Australian Tourism Commission also has:

    • links to key resources for tourism businesses
    • summaries of key outcomes from recent in-region response meetings

    See the South Australian Tourism Commission Bushfire Response web pages.

Page last updated : 16 Mar 2020

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