Extension of bushfire recovery support services in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury

Friday, 18 December 2020


The Step by Step Recovery Support Service will be extended for another year, supporting Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury residents to recover from last summer’s bushfires.


The service links residents to their own personalised recovery support worker, who can help them navigate and access services and disaster assistance packages.


Australian Government Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, the Hon David Littleproud MP, said the extension would ensure long-term support is available for impacted communities throughout their recovery.


“The Australian and NSW governments are pleased to extend this funding for another 12 months as these locally based services provide an important link between survivors and the support they need as they recover,” Minister Littleproud said.


Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the government was working with the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury community on the road to recovery.


“Our government is delivering this funding extension because we understand that every person is recovering at their own pace,” Senator Payne said.


“Led by Anne Crestani, who recently received the prestigious NSW Premier's Community Services Award, the team at Step by Step have been diligently crisscrossing the Mountains and Hawkesbury calling in at community events, promoting local supports and providing tailored resilience programs for locals.


“I encourage anyone who needs advice, assistance or guidance on the next steps in their recovery to make contact with the Step by Step team.”


Government Member of the Legislative Council and Blue Mountains resident Shayne Mallard MLC welcomed the extension of support services in the Blue Mountains.

“Last summer’s bushfires were traumatic for the Blue Mountains community with people losing their homes, businesses and belongings,” Mr Mallard said.

“Having this support extended for another 12 months will go a long way in helping the Blue Mountains community’s road to recovery from this devastation”.

Gregory Lazarus, CEO of Gateway Family Services, welcomed the extension of funding.


“Gateway Family Services, along with the rest of the community are delighted to hear that the Australian and NSW Governments have extended the funding for the seven Bushfire Recovery Support Services operating in the state until the end of December 2021,” Mr Lazarus said.


“The ‘Steppers’ and those they have worked with have found imaginative ways of doing the work they needed to do while keeping each other safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Recovery Support Services are funded under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DFRA) which is jointly funded with the Australian Government. The extension takes the total funding for the services to almost $17 million.


Further details are available at: https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/Documents/factsheets/nsw-recovery-support-services.pdf


Blue Mountains residents can access the free Step by Step Recovery Support Service by contacting Gateway Family Services on 1300 316 746 or by visiting gatewayfamilyservices.org.au.