Department of Human Services

Yorketown fire recovery

On Wednesday 20 November 2019, a fire in the lower Yorke Peninsula of the state damaged properties, crops and livestock.

Recovery information

For information and support, you can phone 8852 1820 or go to:

SYP Community Hub
33 Stansbury Road,

9.00 am to 2.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Local Recovery Coordinator and Committee

Local Recovery Coordinator and Committee

Local Recovery Coordinator

Ms Deb Richardson was appointed to the role of Local Recovery Coordinator for the Yorketown fires on 25 November 2019.

The coordinator works with the community and the Local Recovery Committee to provide support, offer advice and link people to the information and services they require.

Deb is based in the local community working from the Recovery Centre:

33 Stansbury Rd

Phone Deb Richardson on 0402 207 945.

Local Recovery Committee

A Local Recovery Committee has been formed to raise issues, provide feedback and share advice from the local community to guide the recovery efforts.

The committee is made up of community members and staff from agencies including:

  • Department of Human Services
  • Yorke Peninsula Council
  • Primary Industries and Regions SA
  • Natural Resources SA
  • SA Police
  • Department for Health and Wellbeing
  • Salvation Army

The community members are:

  • Kay Barlow
  • Marty Collins
  • Peter “Soxy” Stockings
  • Karen Warren
  • Ben “Wundy” Wundersitz.

Grants and financial assistance

Grants and financial assistance

You may be eligible for grants and other financial assistance.

    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.

    Family and Business Support (FaBS) Program

    The Family and Business Support (FaBS) Program offers free support during situations such as drought and bushfire.

    FaBS team members provide informal advice and can connect you to services where required.

    To learn more about the program, visit the PIRSA FaBS Support Program website.

    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.



    Donating money

    A donation of money is the most helpful way that you can contribute to disaster-affected communities. It helps those impacted to buy exactly what they need and spend the funds in their local community.

    St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies)

    You can make a donation of money online through St Vincent de Paul Society. All donations are tax deductible, with the money going directly to those affected.

    Donate to Vinnies SA Bushfire Appeal

    Wildlife Recovery Fund

    In partnership with the Nature Foundation SA, the South Australian Government 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

    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

    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

    Grants and financial assistance

    To learn more about what financial assistance may be available to you and your business, visit the Grants and financial assistance page.

    Rural business financial counselling

    Rural Business Support provides a free rural financial counselling service for primary producers or small rural businesses who are more than 75% reliant on primary production for income.

    It can help you to make decisions and work through the implications of the current situation on your business.

    Phone 1800 836 211 (freecall).

    Financial counselling helpline

    Financial counsellors can help South Australians in financial difficulty by providing information, support and advocacy.

    This service is free, independent and confidential.

    Call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 (free call).

    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 : 09 Jun 2020

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