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

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 Monday 10 February 2020 [10602|124039]