Bushfire Assistance Reference

There are many resources and tools available for people impacted by the current bushfire crisis in NSW. This page is intended to be a one stop reference point giving you access to information that is relevant to you. We will be updating this page regularly.

The Parkinson’s NSW specialist care team are here to support you by calling 1800 644 189 or email pnsw@parkinsonsnsw.org.au

For all emergencies call triple zero 000 or Teletype 106

Rural Fire Service – call 1800 679 737 for Fire Information
Lead agency for preparing and protecting rural communities from bushfires.

NSW State Emergency Service – call 132 500 for assistance
Providing emergency assistance and warnings during floods and storms.

Fire and Rescue NSW
Responsible for responding to fire, rescue and hazardous material incidents in cities and towns.

Ministry for Police and Emergency Services
Responsible for the coordination of recovery services and disaster welfare services.

Stay informed



Parkinson’s patients must receive the prescribed medication on time every time.

If you’re in a fire-affected area & can’t access your medication or prescription you can call your GP & ask them to send your prescription to a pharmacist near you. If you can’t contact your GP, a local pharmacist can provide an emergency supply of most medications. These special arrangements for the emergency supply of medicines to patients in areas affected by the NSW bushfires are in place until 31 March 2020. (source: NSW Health)


Some people living with Parkinson’s experience shortness of breath as one of their symptoms. There is no clear cause for respiratory dysfunction in Parkinson’s, its frequency or the effect that medications have on respiration.

However, exposure to smoke and poor air quality will obviously exacerbate shortness of breath so avoid vigorous activity and remain indoors – preferably in air conditioning – when possible.

Wear a mask if you do need to venture outdoors. P2 or N95 masks are required to protect you from smoke. They are available from pharmacies.

Exposure to heat is another hazard for people living with Parkinson’s.

Up to 64 percent of Parkinson’s patients report thermodysregulation. This includes symptoms of heat and cold intolerance as well as excessive sweating.

People living with Parkinson’s have problems with their autonomic nervous system, which controls sweating. While perspiration helps regulate the body’s temperature, too much or too little perspiration can result in overheating.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you need to get out of the heat:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Not sweating enough in the heat
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, or dizziness in response to heat
  • Changes in mood when too hot

Is there a link between air pollution and Parkinson’s?

A 2018 literature review* of research into the links between air pollution and Parkinson’s found only weak evidence for this association.

A more recent study** in the Netherlands of 1,290 subjects – 436 of whom were Parkinson’s patients and 854 without progressive neurological disorders – were recruited from five hospitals in four cities in the Netherlands, and 16 years of air pollution exposure were estimated.

In general, the team did not find any significant relationship between exposure to ambient air pollutants and Parkinson’s disease, regardless of the type of pollutant.


* Air pollution and Parkinson’s disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis up to 2018. Kasdagli MI, Katsouyanni K, Dimakopoulou K, Samoli E.

** Parkinson’s disease and long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution: A matched case-control study in the Netherlands. Rosario Toroa, George S. Downward, Mariannevan der Mark, Maartje Brouwer, Anke Huss, Susan Peters, Gerard Hoek, Peter Nijssend, Wim M. Mullenerse, Antonetta Sas, Teusvan Laarg, Hans Kromhout, Roel Vermeulen.


Service NSW is offering people whose important documents have been damaged due to bushfires free replacement of licences, permits and certificates, including birth, marriage and change of name certificates and NSW Fair Trading permits and licences.

Call 13 77 88 for assistance.


The NSW Government has established the Bushfire Housing Assistance Service to support people who are temporarily or permanently displaced as a result of the NSW bushfires. The service is available for all people across the state affected by the recent bushfires.

Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 or

Contact or visit your local Department of Communities and Justice Housing office: Find a Housing Office

Find a bed: A place for people with a spare bed and people who need a place for themselves or animals to connect

Airbnb – has a network of hosts who are offering people from bushfire affected areas free emergency accommodation in their homes.


Ask Izzy is a mobile website that connects people who are in crisis with the services they need right now and nearby.

If you have access to a smart phone or computer, you can search for support services and agencies by using the Ask Izzy website. This is a free, anonymous web site, available 24/7 with information on health, financial, counselling, food and support assistance in your local area.

AskIzzy is free to use for Telstra customers even if you don’t have credit.

To access go to: askizzy.org.au


The NSW Office of Emergency Management (OEM) provides a range of immediate disaster relief information including evacuation centres and disaster welfare assistance points.

If you’re unable to get to a Disaster Welfare Assistance Point please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444


For emergency fodder, stock water and stock assessment, contact Local Land Services on 1800 814 647.

Local Land Services and NSW Department of Primary Industries provide assistance to landholders who have been impacted by the fires in NSW. Assisting with emergency stock water, emergency fodder, veterinary assistance and care of animals in evacuation centres.

Fodder distribution locations

To find your closest emergency fodder distribution site please visit the NSW DPI website.

Evacuation centres

To find our which evacuation centres are open where you can take your animals, please click here.

Local Land Services 1300 795 299

Source: Local Land Services


Centrelink Bushfire assistance – Support for people who can show they lost income as a direct result of the bushfires in New South Wales in August 2019 through to January 2020.

Go to humanservices.gov.au

  • icare has teams standing by to assist bushfire-impacted customers arrange alternative treatment and care where necessary. Call 13 99 22
  • Insurance Law Service provides assistance with insurance claims after bushfires.
  • Legal Aid NSW offers free legal advice if you are affected by bushfires.
  • NSW Legal Assistance Forum provides plain language law resources relating to bushfires.

For assistance to clean up homes that have been damaged or destroyed by the bushfires:

For insured homeowners:

  • call your insurance company, or
  • the Insurance Council of Australia on 1800 734 621.

For uninsured homeowners:


Parkinson’s NSW counselors are available for people living with Parkinson’s, family members and carers, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm by calling 1800 644 189.

24/7 help available on the following numbers:

Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511

Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Mensline – 1300 789 978

Kids Helpline – 1800 551 800.

Note: Farmers and business owners in bushfire-affected areas can access Farm Gate counsellors and peer support workers on the Mental Health Line, 1800 011 511.

A joint release with the Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister, and the Hon. Stuart Robert MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Minister for Government Services, announcing Government funding for immediate mental health services for fire affected communities – published 12 January 2020

More emotional health support will be immediately provided to firefighters, emergency personnel, individuals and communities impacted by the ongoing bushfire emergency. Read the full statement here


The NDIA website provides downloadable accessible and Easy Read Bushfire Information and Support resources and other information regarding access to NDIS in impacted areas.

Needing assistance call the usual NDIS number 1800 800 110

A number of NDIS and Local Area Coordination (LAC) offices are closed due to the fires. A full list is on the NDIS website

Every Australian Counts has put together a list of resources for NDIS participants and their families who are affected by bushfires.

Centrelink Bushfire assistance – Support for people who can show they lost income as a direct result of the bushfires in New South Wales in August 2019 through to January 2020.


Support for over people over 65 years of age: myagedcare.gov.au

Circular: Commonwealth Department of Health Stakeholder Briefing – National Bushfires, Smoke and Heat (10 January 2020)

Dept has been in close contact with aged care services in bushfire-affected regions; approximately 750 aged care residents from around 20 facilities in NSW and Victoria have been relocated either to other residential facilities. There has been a high degree of cooperation amongst home care providers and the Commonwealth Home Support Program to provide care in alternative locations, eg motels and evacuation centres; and prioritising requirements such as wound care. Correspondence regarding use of home care packages in bushfire affected areas have been suspended to minimise confusion. Offers of assistance are being accepted and coordinated through the MyAgedCare website.

If you are concerned about aged care services being affected by bush fires, please talk to your provider in the first instance. If you cannot make contact with the provider or have other questions, please call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.


Commonwealth Respite Carelink Centres (CRCC) for free and confidential information regarding respite including emergency respite and other support appropriate to carers’ needs and circumstances, and the needs of the people they care for.

Business hours: 1800 052 222
Outside business hours: 1800 059 059


There are currently a wide range of appeals raising funds for people and animals affected by the bushfires. Unfortunately, some of these are scams.

Advice from ACCC: If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered and that you are on its official website by searching the Australia Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Charity Register.

Report a scam on the Scamwatch website or report a bushfire scam ACCC’s hotline 1300 795 995