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Contingency arrangements in fire affected areas extended to 6 March 2020

Update: While nationwide contingency arrangements due to the bushfire crisis ended on the 19 January, on 6 January the Prime Minister announced that job seekers who have been or continue to be affected by bushfires will not have mutual obligation requirements until Friday 6 March.

This is to support job seekers and their communities in their recovery.

No job seeker in a fire affected area will be required to meet any mutual obligation requirements during this time. Volunteer firefighters involved in an emergency response will not have their income support payments cut while fighting fires.

Job seekers may volunteer to undertake their usual requirements and attend their usual activities where they choose to do so. Job seekers are encouraged to talk to their employment services provider about the ongoing services and support they can access, and how they can continue to participate in employment services during the contingency period. 

The additional contingency arrangements will apply to anyone eligible for the Department of Human Services (DHS) Disaster Recover Allowance Payment in any Local Government area (LGA) that has been identified by Department of Home Affairs as being impacted by the bushfires.

A current list of Local Government Areas (LGAs) below:

Update: While nationwide contingency arrangements due to the bushfire crisis ended on the 19 January, on 6 January the Prime Minister announced that job seekers who have been or continue to be affected by bushfires will not have mutual obligation requirements until Friday 6 March.

LGA State LGA State
Adelaide Hills SA Mid-Western Regional NSW
Alpine VIC Mount Barker SA
Ararat VIC Moyne VIC
Armidale Regional NSW Murray Bridge SA
Ballarat VIC Muswellbrook NSW
Ballina NSW Nambucca NSW
Bega Valley NSW Narrabri NSW
Bellingen NSW Noosa QLD
Blue Mountains NSW Northern Grampians VIC
Break O'Day TAS Oberon NSW
Bundaberg QLD Penrith NSW
Byron< NSW Playford SA
Central Coast NSW Port Macquarie-Hastings NSW
Central Highlands TAS Pyrenees VIC
Cessnock NSW Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional NSW
Clarence Valley NSW Richmond Valley NSW
Coffs Harbour NSW Scenic Rim QLD
East Gippsland VIC Shoalhaven NSW
Eurobodalla NSW Singleton NSW
Gladstone QLD Snowy Monaro Regional NSW
Glen Innes Severn NSW Snowy Valleys NSW
Glenelg VIC Somerset QLD
Gold Coast< QLD Southern Downs QLD
Golden Plains VIC Southern Grampians VIC
Goulburn Mulwaree NSW Southern Mallee SA
Greater Bendigo VIC Southern Midlands TAS
Greater Hume Shire NSW Strathbogie VIC
Gundagai NSW Sunshine Coast QLD
Gwydir NSW Sutherland Shire NSW
Gympie QLD Tamworth Regional NSW
Hawkesbury NSW Tenterfield NSW
Indigo VIC The Coorong SA
Inverell NSW Toowoomba QLD
Ipswich QLD Towong VIC
Kangaroo Island SA Tweed NSW
Kempsey NSW Unincorporated ACT ACT
Kingston SA Upper Hunter Shire NSW
Ku-ring-gai NSW Upper Lachlan Shire NSW
Kyogle NSW Uralla NSW
Lake Macquarie NSW Wagga Wagga NSW
Lismore NSW Walcha NSW
Lithgow NSW Wangaratta VIC
Livingstone QLD Wellington VIC
Lockyer Valley QLD Wingecarribee NSW
Lower Eyre Peninsula SA Wodonga VIC
Mansfield VIC Wollondilly NSW
Mid Murray SA Yorke Peninsula SA
Mid-Coast NSW

Volunteering

Following the end of the nationwide contingency arrangement, job seekers who live outside of bushfire affected areas can contact Centrelink to seek an exemption from their requirements if they are affected by bushfires. This includes job seekers who are:

  • volunteering as part of an emergency response (for example, volunteer firefighters)
  • serving as part of the Defence Force Reserves as part of the bushfire recovery response
  • living in and/or directly impacted by the bushfires, including job seekers who are temporarily away from their usual residence (for example, visiting family) and cannot return home
  • providing support for a relative or loved one who has been directly impacted by the bushfires.

Correct at time of publication

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Last modified on Thursday 20 February 2020 [10602|124184]