Cessnock City Council conducts survey of residents who were impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires

EMERGENCY: A bushfire at Pelaw Main in December 2019. Picture: Marina Neil
EMERGENCY: A bushfire at Pelaw Main in December 2019. Picture: Marina Neil

Cessnock City Council is conducting a survey of residents who were impacted by last summer's devastating bushfire season.

The survey has been put together with the help of Resilience NSW in order to get a better insight into community needs and the assistance residents may still require.

Council's community recovery officer Melissa Boucher will be contacting residents who had their properties directly damaged or destroyed during the 2019-20 bushfire season, but is also encouraging others to reach out if they have something to share.

"We know that bushfires don't only effect those who have had their property destroyed. We'd be interested to hear from anyone who has an insight or experience from not only last season but also in previous bushfire events," Ms Boucher said.

Anyone interested in doing the survey can contact Melissa on melissa.boucher@cessnock.nsw.gov.au or 4993 4257.

Meanwhile, with R U OK Day falling today, there is no better time to check in on those affected by the unprecedented NSW bushfire season.

Commissioner of Resilience NSW, Shane Fitzsimmons has urged people who need assistance to reach out and seek help.

"Today serves as a reminder to check in with those around you and ask them if they are OK," he said.

"We know every person has a different story and faces different struggles. We have a range of assistance in place if you need some extra support on your recovery journey.

"I would encourage anyone who needs help to please reach out. We have funded local Recovery Support Services across 26 local government areas, offering personalised, case management to people.

"We have also embedded 22 Community Recovery Officers in councils, to help facilitate community led projects, activities and events.

"The bushfire customer care line remains in place and has already helped over 10,000 people access support and grants.

"Over the past fortnight there have been around 900 calls for bushfire assistance, showing that people are still coming forward.

"We know that people will reach out for help in their own time, and these services are in place to ensure help is available when people are ready for it."

Bushfire Customer Care: 13 77 88