Department of Human Services

Kangaroo Island Fire Recovery Newsletter Issue 1 - 13 February 2020

Welcome from the Local Recovery Coordinator

Welcome to the first edition of the Kangaroo Island Fire Recovery newsletter.

This newsletter has been created to share information about the recovery services that are available and to make sure the wider community is involved in the recovery process.

My role as Local Recovery Coordinator is to listen to the community to understand your needs and bring government and other support agencies together to deliver recovery services where they are needed.

These newsletters will be a source of important information on a range of topics over the next few months and I encourage you to read them as well as share them with anyone in your personal network who may have been impacted by the fires.

As part of the recovery, Community Recovery Officer Jennifer Trethewey and I will be available to listen to your concerns and issues:

  • Mondays 4.00 pm - 6.00 pm at the Western Districts
  • Tuesdays 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm Vivonne Bay Café
  • Wednesdays 3.00 pm - 5.00 pm Parndana Recovery Centre
  • Thursdays 11.00 pm - 2.00 pm Karatta.

I encourage you to regularly visit the Kangaroo Island fire recovery page to stay up to date with what is in place to support you in your recovery.

Mike Williams
Local Recovery Coordinator

Join our Facebook group

We have a dedicated Facebook group for people impacted by the Kangaroo Island fires. 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 visit the Facebook recovery information page and click on ‘groups’ to the left of the page.

Parndana Recovery Centre

The Parndana Recovery Centre is located at 12 Jubilee Avenue, Parndana.

The Centre combines the resources of Federal, State and Local Government, as well as community organisations. It offers a place to seek the answers, advice and support – this includes help with applications, contact numbers, advice, and mental health support.

The agencies represented will evolve to meet the changing needs of the community as the recovery process continues.

Recovery Centre staff also do outreach to those who would benefit from a visit to their homes.

If you know of anyone you think could do with this type of support, please drop in to the Centre or call 0438 861 215.

Waste removal

Hazardous waste

The State Government will be paying for all spraying (asbestos) and removal of permapine (CCA-treated timber), asbestos, and household chemicals and paint.

Green Industries SA (GISA) contractors have been systematically spraying all known asbestos sources on the island. Spraying forms a crust to capture fine particles that may contain asbestos dust.

All properties identified as having asbestos have now been sprayed. These properties have been identified through registrations via GISA, reports through other government agencies, and through systematic searching and door-knocking to make sure no one has been missed.

If you suspect asbestos may be present on a property, please let GISA know on the number below. Assistance from property owners and the wider community is most appreciated to ensure all potential hazards are taken care of as soon as possible.

GISA officers will now be contacting property owners whose asbestos has been sprayed, to discuss contractor entry onto properties for the removal of debris.

Construction of a new asbestos pit in Gosse is underway; this is in addition to the facility already existing in Kingscote. This second location will help to speed up the removal process.

Please remember, do not handle asbestos or asbestos-containing products unless you are trained and certified in its removal.

Removal of asbestos from the first five properties commenced on Monday 10 February 2020.

If you are yet to register for hazardous waste removal, register online on the GISA website. You can also print a hard copy from this site or pick one up in person at the Parndana Recovery Centre or the KI Council.

Green Industries has engaged Jo McPhee from the Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority to follow up on queries and assist with completing forms over the phone until Wednesday 19 February. Phone Jo on 0428 313 413.

For any further information:

Visit Green Industries SA

Phone 7071 3723


Non-hazardous waste

The priority to date has been the safe management and removal of hazardous materials.

The State and Federal governments are now also covering the costs of cleaning up non-hazardous material affected by bushfires in South Australia.

Property owners in fire-affected areas who have not already registered are encouraged to register their needs on the Green Industries SA website

If property owners have already registered online, via paper form or in person with Green Industries SA, they do not need to register again.

Reimbursement of costs for clean-up already undertaken

Anyone affected by the bushfires who has incurred costs for clean-up can discuss potential reimbursement for properties on Kangaroo Island 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
  • Have not received other government assistance for clean-up – for example, from DHS or the State Emergency Relief Fund
  • Provide all this information to the Local Recovery Coordinator.

Grant information

Grants are available through a variety of organisations including the State Government, Red Cross, The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Business SA, and the Mayoral Relief & Recovery Bushfire Fund.

For a list of currently available grants, keep reading or visit Department of Human services - Grants and Assistance

For assistance with grant applications, please visit the Parndana Recovery centre or give them a call on 0438 861 215.

Small business concessional loans  now available

Concessional loans of up to $500,000 are now available for eligible small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations impacted by the fires.

There are two categories available: a Bushfire Working Capital working capital loan of up to $50,000 and a Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000.

Bushfire Working Capital Loans are intended to provide short-term cash support for businesses that have lost income as a result of the eligible disaster

Bushfire Recovery Loans are intended to provide funding for asset reinstatement and replacement and may also be applied to assist the business with working capital whilst it re-establishes its normal trading operations.

Visit the Business SA website for more information and to apply.

Community Recovery Committee

The Kangaroo Island community’s bushfire recovery process took another step on Tuesday 4 February 2020, when a group of more than 80 held an initial workshop to discuss the island’s recovery needs and how its people can best be supported on the path to recovery.

Organised by Kangaroo Island Council and the Department of Human Services, the day’s aim was for the community to begin identifying issues arising from the fires, and establish timelines for addressing them.

State Recovery Office Director, Georgie Cornish, said, “The process of recovery is a long one. Some needs are immediate, while others will become apparent in months and even years. This workshop has been a great first step in making sure we can all do our best to support recovery of the island.”

Community members organised themselves into five groups, depending upon where they felt they wanted to contribute most on the day. These groups tacked immediate, medium- and long-term needs of the island. The themes discussed were Social (health & wellbeing), Environment, Economic – tourism, Economic – primary production, and Infrastructure.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said, “This workshop was the precursor to driving bottom-up recovery delivery for Kangaroo Islanders. It is most important that the community provide the direction forward through ideas generated locally and that they are being fed into an agile system that provides resources where they are needed.”

The workshop was just the beginning of the community’s recovery planning. In coming days and weeks, ideas, feedback, and stories from the wider Kangaroo Island community will be captured and fed into recovery planning.

The Department of Human Services would like to express its gratitude to attendees of this initial workshop for investing their time and expertise into guiding the future of their island.

It is recognised that that there are many who could not be present on that day and not every issue and opportunity was captured at this initial workshop. Recovery will be a long process and will be strongly supported by Kangaroo Island Council and State Government.

If anyone would like to discuss any of the themes from the workshop, please contact one of the leads below, or the Local Recovery Coordinator.


Bob Teasdale


Phone  0448 635 009


Andrew Heinrich


Phone 0427 596 108

Economic (tourism)

Jeanette Gellard


Phone 0429 990 063

Economic (primary production)

Shirley Pledge


Phone  0427 041 787


Graham Walkom


Phone 0452 286 238

Local Recovery Coordinator

Mike Williams


Phone 0418 818 522

State Emergency Relief Fund

The State Emergency Relief Fund (SERF) has been established in response to the Kangaroo Island and Cudlee Creek fires.

The SERF is administered by an independent committee, whose primary function is to ensure that all donated funds are distributed appropriately and fairly to people and communities impacted by the fire.

If you live within the Kangaroo Island fire area and your property was damaged, or you suffered other injury, loss or damage you should apply as soon as possible as you may be entitled to a monetary gift from the fund.

An application form is available online or from the Recovery Centre in Parndana.

You can also call 8226 8966 or request a form by emailing


A range of grants is available to help you with your recovery. If you’re struggling to navigate your options speak to a team member at the Parndana Recovery Centre to find out if you are eligible. If you are not able to make it into the Centre, you can call 0438 861 215 for support.

Re-establishment grants

How much? Up to $10,000

Who is it for?

To help people who are uninsured, and whose principal residence (home) has been damaged by bushfire, to repair bushfire-damaged homes or replace essential household items.

Where can I find out more?

Phone the SA Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm or visit the Parndana Recovery Centre.

Recovery grants for small business

How much? Up to $50,000

Who is it for?

Small businesses affected by the Kangaroo Island bushfires for immediate costs associated with clean-up, restoration and rebuilding.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Supporting Business in South Australia website

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

Email or visit the Parndana Recovery Centre.

Recovery grants for primary producers

How much? Up to $75,000

Who is it for?

Primary producers affected by the Kangaroo Island bushfires to assist with the immediate costs of rebuilding and recovery.

Where can I find out more?

Visit PIRSA Recovery

Phone the PIRSA Recovery Hotline on 1800 931 314

Email or visit the Parndana Recovery Centre.

Disaster recovery allowance

Department of Human Services – Centrelink

The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income. It is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks from the date you lose your income.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Department of Human Services Centrelink

or visit the Parndana Recovery Centre.

Disaster recovery payment

Department of Human Services – Centrelink

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you.

How much? If you’re eligible, you will receive $1,000 per adult and $800 for each child under 16 years of age.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Department of Human Services Centrelink

Phone 180 22 66 or call into the Parndana Recovery Centre.

Red Cross emergency grants

How much? The cash grants available are:

  • A $20,000 Emergency grant for people who have lost their homes.
  • A $7,500 Injury grant for people who were hospitalised due to the fires
  • A $5,000 Primary residence repair grant for homeowners whose homes have been structurally damaged and require repair to make them safe and habitable.

Grant applications will be open until 30 April 2020.

Who is it for?

Bushfire-affected people in financial hardship.

Where can I find out more?

Visit the Red Cross website

Phone 1800 733 276

Email or visit the Parndana Recovery Centre.

Drought relief funding


How much? $3000

Who is it for?

If you are a farmer, farm worker or farm supplier/contractor who is doing it tough because of the drought.

Where can I find out more?

For advice and more information on applications, call 1300 846 643 or visit the Vinnies website

Disaster recovery assistance


If you have been affected by the SA bushfires and suffered loss of property, damage to outbuildings/ sheds or lost vehicles, machinery or stock, please complete the online form (link below) to apply for assistance.

Visit the Vinnies website or call 13 18 12 and choose option 2.

Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief and Recovery Bushfire Fund

Category 1 – Deceased Persons

The next of kin of the people who died in the Fire are eligible for a compassion and bereavement gift payment of $20,000.

Category 2 – Injury

People who were seriously injured by the Fire and who had an extended stay in hospital are eligible for a gift of up to $5,000.

Category 3 – Destroyed Homes

Property owners whose house was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the Fire are eligible to receive $5,000 per household.

Property owners who are owner / occupiers of the house destroyed are also eligible to receive an additional $500 per child under 18 years of age, residing at the premises.

Tenants whose principal place of residence, was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by the Fire are eligible to receive $5,000 and an additional $500 per child under 18 years of age, residing at the premises.

Category 4 – House and/or Property Damage

Property owners who experienced infrastructure damage to their house or contents as a result of the Fire and / or householders who principal place of residence suffered infrastructure damage to their house or property are eligible for a gift of $2,000. The property has to be within the Fire footprint.

Property owners who experienced infrastructure damage to shedding are eligible for a gift of $4,000 per property assessment number. The property has to be within the Fire footprint.

Property owners who experienced infrastructure damage to water tanks and pumps, fences and farm equipment are eligible for a gift of $2,000 per property assessment number. The property has to be within the Fire footprint.

Category 5 – Business

Households who derive an income from the affected property. For example, primary producers, small businesses, are eligible to receive $2,000 per property.

Sharefarmers who derive an income from the affected property will be eligible per property $2,000.

Category 6 – Vehicles

People who experienced damage to vehicles as a result of the fire are eligible to receive $500 per household.

Any questions relating to completing the form, please contact Melissa Grimes, Governance Administration Officer on 8553 4560.

Apply online to the Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief & Recovery Bushfire Fund

Bushfire Crisis Support

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA)

To assist its business finance and home loan customers directly impacted by the current bushfires through the loss of property or compulsory evacuation, IBA has established a Bushfire Crisis Fund that will provide the following support:

  • Temporary suspension of loan repayments;
  • Access to a $2,000 bushfire crisis grant to cover immediate needs;
  • Assistance with making insurance claims; and
  • Further assistance for business customers to be assessed on an individual basis.

Customers who have either lost property or been evacuated from their homes are encouraged to contact IBA on 1800 064 800 to discuss the support available.

For more information, visit the Indigenous Business Australia website


Community Recovery Session – How people react and recover after the fires

Dr. Rob Gordon

Thursday 13 February
Parndana Bowling Club
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Everyone is encouraged to attend

Recovering – lessons from the Pinery fire


Thursday 13 February, Parndana Bowling Club 6:00 pm – Dinner provided

Free online registration for the workshop

Community Tours of Flinders Chase National Park

Date:  Sunday, 16 February, first tour at 9:00 am - last tour at 3:30 pm

We invite you to register online for the tour.

Meeting location:
Flinders Chase National Park entrance gate carpark (corner West End Highway and South Coast Road)

Page last updated : 12 Mar 2020

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