Bushfire information and support

TAC clients impacted by the bushfires are being prioritised to ensure they can continue to receive the treatment and support they need.

If you have been impacted by a bushfire and need to discuss your treatments or supports, please contact us on 1300 654 329.

Our customer service team are available 8.30am-5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have been involved in a transport accident as a result of a bushfire, you can lodge a TAC claim by calling 1300 654 329. Find out more about what to do after an accident.

Support during a bushfire emergency

If you are in a bushfire area, you must follow the advice from your local emergency services.

They will issue warnings when an emergency is likely to impact your area.

They will provide you with information on what is happening and the best advice on what you should do.

If you have to leave your home, and you have essential equipment, consumables or medications, please remember to take these with you if you can do so safely.

You can monitor Victorian bushfire advice and warnings at emergency.vic.gov.au or listen to updates on the ABC radio frequency in your area.

Assistance for Vulnerable Persons

If you have specific needs for assistance in an emergency due to frailty, physical and/or cognitive impairment, you should be registered as a ‘vulnerable person’ with the CFA.

If you have not been previously registered, please do so by contacting the Emergency Management Department at your local shire or council.

Accessing TAC supports

If you are an existing TAC client and the bushfires mean that you need additional or different supports from us, please contact us on 1300 654 329.

If you have questions or concerns about accessing your usual essential supports (such as attendant care services) please contact your provider in the first instance.  If you are unable to contact your provider or you need help to do this, please call the TAC.

Accessing prescription medication (Victorian residents)

If you have an urgent need for your prescription-only medication and do not have your prescription due to the bushfires, you may be able to access your medication from a Victorian pharmacist without a prescription until 1 April 2020.

We recommend you visit your nearest pharmacy and ask how they can assist you. More information is available on the Pharmacy Guild of Australia website.

Case support program (Victoria)

This free program is immediately available to people in fire affected areas of Gippsland and North East Victoria.

You can access a support coordinator by contacting your local council, visiting a recovery centre or calling 1800 560 760.

Your support coordinator will be a single point of contact who can:

  • Help you navigate all the services available through your local council, state and commonwealth governments
  • Link you directly to vital support (such as information, advice, mental health support, financial counselling)
  • Help you fill out paperwork, access grants and make financial claims

Accessing government and financial support

Affected households can apply for a number of available payments from state and commonwealth governments. Applying for one payment does not preclude you from applying for the others.

Victorian residents

Victorian residents may be eligible for assistance through the Personal Hardship Assistance Program (PHAP).

This program covers emergency relief assistance and emergency re-establishment assistance.

Find more information on the PHAP website or call their hotline on 1800 961 054. This hotline is available 7 days a week from 9am - 5pm.

Australian Government disaster payments

Bushfire-affected Australians in declared regions are able to claim various disaster payments if you can show you lost income or have been adversely affected as a direct result of the bushfires.

Find more information for your state on the Services Australia (Centrelink) website.

The fastest way is to claim over the phone. The number to call is 180 22 66. Phone lines are open 8 am to 8 pm (local time) Monday to Friday and 8 am to 5 pm (local time) Saturday and Sunday.

Tax relief (Victoria)

Businesses, families, and individuals whose properties have been destroyed or substantially damaged by bushfires will receive ex-gratia relief for their 2020 land tax assessment.

Land tax will be also be waived on eligible properties being used to provide free accommodation for people who need it.

If you decide not to rebuild in your local community, the Victorian Government will provide up to $55,000 in stamp duty relief if you buy a home elsewhere.

If you’ve lost motor vehicles due to bushfires, you can receive up to $2,100 in ex-gratia relief from the stamp duty on up to two replacement vehicles.

More information about tax support is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Accessing support from your bank

Many banks have released emergency relief packages for their customers.

You may also be eligible to have fees and charges waived, loan repayments deferred and existing loans restructured.

We recommend you contact your bank or lender to find out what support you may be eligible for.

VicRoads support (registrations and licensing)

VicRoads can provide assistance to help with registration and licensing services if you have been impacted by the Victorian bushfires. This includes:

  • Replacing licence cards and registration documents
  • Renewing a licence without a recent photo
  • Replacing learner log books
  • Cancelling registrations of fire-damaged vehicles and claiming a registration refund

More information is available on the VicRoads website.

Preparing your home in a bushfire risk area

If you live in a bushfire risk area, it is important that you undertake appropriate steps to minimise your risk during fire season. This includes:

  • Clean up around your home or property
  • Make a fire plan
  • Learn how to protect yourself and your family
  • Be fire ready

If you are unable to prepare your home or property as a result of your transport accident injuries, the TAC may consider funding reasonable domestic assistance to assist with these preparations.

Examples of assistance which may be considered include cutting of long grass or clearing dry leaf litter from house guttering. If you are unable to perform these tasks yourself, please contact us on 1300 654 329 to discuss your needs.

More information to help you plan and prepare for fires is available at the CFA website.

Driving through smoke or bushfires

Driving during a bushfire is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury or death. Always plan to leave early to avoid this situation.

If you do need to drive, ensure you are prepared for the journey and know what to do in an emergency.

Remember to take any essential equipment, consumables or medications you need, if you can do so safely.

Turn on your lights, take care and drive safely.

The CFA website provides advice on how to protect yourself and stay safe in your car.

Managing your health during bushfires

Smoke from fires can reduce air quality in rural and urban areas and exposure to smoke can affect you and your family's health.

The Better Health Channel has simple steps you can take to avoid smoke and protect your health.

You can also monitor the air quality in your area on the EPA AirWatch website.