Department of Human Services

Cudlee Creek Recovery Newsletter Issue 4 - 11 March 2020

New hours for Recovery Centre

The opening hours of the Lobethal Recovery Centre are changing.

From Monday 16 March the centre is open at the following times:

Monday - Friday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Sunday: Closed
Public holidays: Closed

Alternatively, you can now phone the recovery centre if you are unable to visit the centre in person.

Phone 0418 213 269

Mental health support

There are a number of mental health support networks available to you.

SA Regional Access

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

SA Regional Access
Phone 1300 032 186 (24/7).

Lifeline’s Bushfire Recovery Line

Phone 13 43 57(24/7).

The Country SA Public Health Network

Mental health and counselling resources

Rural and Remote Mental Health Service

Available for people who feel at risk or in need of immediate mental health support.

Phone 13 14 65 (24/7).

Join our Facebook group

We have a dedicated Facebook group for people impacted by the Cudlee Creek fire. This private group is for those directly impacted by the fires rather than the general public.

It is a place to ask questions, share information and resources, and connect with your local community during the recovery phase. To join the group visit the SA Recovery Facebook page and click on ‘groups’ to the left of the page.

Waste clean-up

The Federal Government and the South Australian Government are funding a coordinated clean-up of bushfire related waste.

Green Industries SA is coordinating the efficient and safe clean-up and removal of this waste.

The removal of debris will be provided at no cost to those affected by fire.

If you have not already registered your waste needs, fill out the registration form online

The urgent areas for priority response are the safe management and removal of:

  • asbestos
  • permapine (CCA-treated timber) and permapine ash
  • hazardous chemicals like pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser

but the clean-up will also include the removal of:

  • household bricks
  • rubble and demolition waste
  • e-waste
  • metals
  • vehicles
  • poly-pipe and irrigation used by growers and farmers in the fire affected areas.

Reimbursement of costs for clean-up already undertaken

Anyone affected by the bushfires who has incurred costs for clean-up can discuss potential reimbursement with the Local Recovery Coordinator.

For reimbursement of clean-up costs to be considered, property owners will need to:

  • Have sustained damage to physical building structures or vehicles on their property (not green waste)
  • Demonstrate that the materials were bushfire-affected
  • Provide evidence of the costs and payment associated with the clean-up
  • Provide all this information to the Local Recovery Coordinator.

Please read the detailed information at Green Industries SA.

Safety equipment for ash piles

Green Industries SA (GISA) has supplied the Recovery Centre with a number of safety equipment kits to assist with containing small quantities of ash from burnt permapine (Copper Chrome Arsenate (CCA) timber).

The permapine ash contains high concentrations of arsenic, copper and chromium that requires careful handling and storage to protect human health and the environment.

The kit contains Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other tools to allow safe movement of ash into 20 litre buckets for temporary containment before off-site disposal (to be arranged by the Lobethal recovery centre).

The kit includes:

  • a coverall and boot covers
  • mask, gloves, safety glasses
  • other protective equipment.

There are a limited number of kits available however more can be sourced if required.

Visit the centre during opening hours to collect your kit.

Removal of polytanks

Damaged and destroyed polytanks continue to be an issue in the community.

Green Industries SA (GISA) can arrange removal for you.

If you have not already registered your waste needs, fill out the registration form online

Removal of fencing wire

Green Industries SA also wishes to find out if the community needs additional support in removing unwanted rolls of fencing wire. If you need assistance, please email Mike Haywood from GISA at with your volume and your location.

Tax on insurance claims

Some questions have been raised about the impact of tax on insurance claims. Below is advice from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) regarding this matter:

“Insurance payouts for damaged or destroyed business assets are generally taxed unless, for example, a replacement asset is bought and paid for within a certain timeframe. For businesses whose assets were damaged or destroyed in the 2019/20 bushfires, they have until 30 June 2021 to buy a replacement business asset and access the concession.

“We understand that there will be circumstances where business are not able to replace an asset within this timeframe; for example, where there are delays in receiving an insurance payout to fund the purchase or where construction time for the asset is extensive. In these circumstances, the Commissioner’s approach will be to allow a reasonable extension of time for business to replace their damaged or destroyed assets.

“We will shortly be updating our website content to make clearer the timeframe to buy a replacement asset and the Commissioner’s approach to extensions for bushfire affected businesses.

In the interim, please assure bushfire affected businesses that they should not be concerned about adverse tax implications where they experience delays beyond their control in acquiring their replacement business assets.”

Phone the ATO emergency support hotline on 1800 806 218.

Tablets for small businesses

As part of its Green Shoots Grants program, Optus is offering telecommunications grants for small businesses that include:

  • a complimentary tablet
  • $100 per month recurring credit for 24 months on an Optus Small Business Account, and
  • assistance from their tech support team.

To be eligible you will need to be a small business with an ABN or ACN and operate within a postcode affected by the fire.

Applications close 12.00 noon AEST 31 March 2020.

Detailed eligibility information and applications

Royal Commission

Public submissions are now open for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

If you have information for the Royal Commission, there are four ways to make a submission:

Submissions close: Friday 3 April 2020.

You can subscribe to important updates from the commission through the ‘subscribe to mailing list’ button at the bottom of the commission’s webpage.

Free home solar batteries

A free home solar battery will be offered to each householder rebuilding a home lost in the bushfires this summer.

Anyone who has lost a home in the fires will be eligible to claim a free battery if they rebuild and include solar panels in their development.

The batteries are available thanks to an arrangement between the state government and local manufacturer, sonnen.

Home batteries for bushfire rebuilding

Cash card from Tzu Chi Australia

If your primary place of residence was destroyed or suffered major damage during the Cudlee Creek fire, you are invited to apply for a cash card from Tzu Chi Australia.

Cash cards of $1600 per family are available and will be presented at a ceremony in Lobethal on Sunday 5 April.

Registration forms are available from the Lobethal Recovery Centre or via the Grants and financial assistance page.

Email your completed form to or in person at the drop-off box at the Recovery Centre.

For more information, phone David on 0412 398 771 or Jane on 0401 685 526 (Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm).

Applications close: 30 March 2020.

New landscape recovery grants

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and SA Murray-Darling Basin NRM Boards are pleased to announce the opening of the Cudlee Creek Landscape Recovery Grants to support communities affected by the Cudlee Creek fire in managing their natural resources.

Landholders can apply for up to $5000 to undertake activities to:

  • manage pest plants and animals
  • protect soils
  • manage water quality
  • protect biodiversity.

Check the guidelines for a list of eligible activities.

To be eligible for a grant you need to have been directly impacted by the Cudlee Creek fire and not already funded to undertake the nominated activity from insurance or other grants. Note: you don’t need to be earning an income from your property to be eligible for this grant.

Applications close: 27 March 2020.

Guidelines and application forms

You may also be eligible for financial support from a wide range of other grants. You are strongly encouraged to check what is available to you.

Grants and financial assistance page

Farewell and thank you ADF

The emergency support from the ADF's 16 Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery has concluded. The force has supported more than 500 affected residents since commencing work on 9 January 2020.

They provided crucial support delivering stock water and fodder, felling fire-affected trees, and clearing debris and access routes to properties.

They supported local councils and the state government in restoration of community recreation areas such as the Lobethal Bushland Park and the Fox Creek Mountain Bike Trail and assisted in the recovery of native wildlife by building enclosures and helping to care for orphaned koala joeys at Cleland Wildlife Park.

On behalf of the community we thank the regiment who have played such a crucial role supporting the community.

Tax assistance from UniSA

The UniSA Tax Clinic is available to help those affected by the bushfires with their tax issues. This is a free service for individuals and small businesses who do not have a tax agent.

The clinic may be able to assist if you are experiencing tax issues due to loss of records, destruction of assets, receiving government grants or insurance receipts. They can also help with lodging tax forms, providing general tax advice, advocating on behalf of a taxpayer to the ATO and more.

The clinic will be open until late May operating out of UniSA City West Campus.

Enquiries and bookings

Centrelink visiting Lobethal

A Centrelink mobile service centre will be in the carpark of Klose’s Supermarket, 18 Main Street, Lobethal on Thursday 26 March from 10am to 4pm.

This is an opportunity for bushfire-affected families and individuals with accessibility issues to access vital government services closer to home. Australian Government Mobile Service Centres travel to rural and regional communities to provide community members with information and access to government services. They provide personalised face-to-face servicing to individuals and families who may not have easy access to a Department of Human Services office.

Staff from the Department of Human Services travel with the Mobile Service Centres and can help with Centrelink and Medicare payments and services. Information about Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services for veterans and their families is also available.

Centrelink Mobile Service Centres

Long-term landscape recovery

The Agriculture and Land Management Cudlee Creek Bushfire Subcommittee is coordinating and assisting with agricultural and natural resources recovery, building on experiences from Sampson Flat and Pinery fire recovery efforts.

The committee has representatives from the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and SA Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Boards, Primary Industries and Regions SA, Environment Protection Authority, and Adelaide Hills Council.

Its primary task is to develop and guide landscape recovery for landholders during the next three months (immediate concerns, for example, health of stock and water), nine months (intermediate needs, for example, weed control) and one to four years (longer term needs with further land management and recovery works, including helping people restore home gardens). Activities have already targeted management of livestock, soils, erosion, native vegetation and horticulture; sessions are planned or underway for pests, water, native flora and fauna.

Speak to a NRM team member at the Recovery Centre or see Cudlee Creek bushfire recovery


See the Cudlee Creek events page

Contact information

Recovery details

Local Recovery Coordinator Alex Zimmermann
Phone 0418 258 304

Recovery Hotline: 1800 302 787

Lobethal Fire Recovery Centre: Fabrik Arts and Heritage in the Old Woollen Mill - 1 Lobethal Road, Lobethal

Cudlee Creek Fire Recovery web pages

SA Recovery Facebook page

Local Councils

Adelaide Hills Council
Phone 8408 0400

Mount Barker District Council
Phone 8391 7200

Mid-Murray Council
Phone 8569 0100

Agriculture and livestock

Phone 1800 931 314

Livestock SA
Phone 8297 2299

Natural Resources
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
Phone 8336 0901

SA Murray-Darling Basin
Phone 8391 7500


Volunteering SA&NT
Phone 1300 135 545

Waste management

Green Industries SA
Phone 7071 3723

Page last updated : 13 Mar 2020

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