View of Parliament House in smoke haze.

12 February 2020

ACT farmers, small businesses and homeowners affected by the 2019-20 bushfires will be eligible to apply for Commonwealth Government disaster recovery assistance.

The support will include a range of practical recovery measures, including concessional interest rate loans for farmers and small businesses and help with residential clean-up.

It will be provided under jointly funded Commonwealth-Territory Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Activation of the arrangements also means the Commonwealth Government will help cover some of the costs associated with firefighting response operations undertaken to protect the ACT community.

The nation’s capital has been impacted by bushfire and extended periods of smoke haze this summer.

ACT Emergency Services staff have fought fires within the territory as well as helping the NSW Rural Fire Service across the border.

The Orroral Valley Fire presented the biggest bushfire risk to the Territory since 2003, and required a significant response from emergency services agencies with the support of the Australian Defence Force.

It has burnt over 86,000 hectares, threatened lives, forced evacuations and damaged property.

The nation’s capital also played a key role in supporting people fleeing fires along the South Coast. The relief centre at the Dickson College helped a number of families who had nowhere else to go.

This bushfire season impacted on the way of life for our city, particularly small businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector that have been doing it tough for a number of months with extended periods of smoke haze and bushfire threat.

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s disaster assist website at

Any business that has suffered significant financial loss as a direct result of this summer’s bushfire season should contact Access Canberra on 13 22 81 or via for further information and to discuss support options available.

All Canberra

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