Urging communities to access Red Cross bushfire grants over winter

Dear Ed,

We acknowledge many of your readers lost their homes to the 2019/2020 bushfires. While more than 4,000 Australians have received a Red Cross grant, we are concerned some people still haven’t come forward for help. We would urge them to contact us to access Red Cross grants to ensure they are safely accommodated over winter. 

In recent weeks, we have expanded our existing rebuild grant and renamed it a re-establishment grant to give people more flexibility and choice, as we understand many are not ready to rebuild and some need extra support now with temporary accommodation.

The new grants include a $30,000 payment for homeowner occupiers who lost their primary place of residence and a $10,000 payment for people who were tenants or whose home was a non-permanent structure like a caravan.

These payments are in addition to emergency grants of $20,000 for anyone who lost their primary place of residence. Around 4,053 Australians have received a bushfire grant, but we know many eligible people have not yet come forward.

We also have $5,000 repair grants available for people whose homes were structurally damaged, including those who lost water tanks, sewage systems and power connections located on their property.

We know some people don’t come forward for assistance following disasters, sometimes for months due to a range of issues, including trauma, cognitive overload and dealing with other pressing issues. We will continue to be there for people when they are ready. We know recovery is a long-term process, and we’ve committed to staying with bushfire-hit communities for as long as it takes.

We’ve made the process as simple as possible, with a few basic checks and we will help people make applications. Please apply for a grant at redcross.org.au/grants or call 1800 RED CROSS (1800 733 276) to discuss your circumstances.

Poppy Brown
Director, NSW & ACT
Australian Red Cross