If you or someone you know has been affected by flooding from the Northern NSW Rivers, the following useful links and phone numbers may be helpful.
Residents should beware of travelling conmen and unlicensed traders who may target disaster affected areas, offering cheap, cash only repairs to roofs or to remove damaged trees.
Before hiring a contractor or tradesperson - no matter how small your job is - follow the steps below:
- Check the individual, company or partnership you engage has a contractor licence for jobs involving:
- residential building work where the total cost of labour and materials is more than $5,000
- any electrical wiring work
- any plumbing, drainage and/or gas fitting work
- any air conditioning and/or refrigeration work (except plug in appliances)
Search for a contractor or tradesperson to check their licence or call NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20.
- Check the contractor has the right safety licence - especially if your job involves asbestos, demolition, explosives, fumigation or high risk work.
- Check they have the right type of insurance cover to protect you and your home if something goes wrong. The contractor must get insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF), if the contract price is more than $20,000.
If you are a tradesperson and you have lost your SafeWork NSW licence documents in a natural disaster, you can replace them by calling 13 10 50.
Damage to rental properties from natural disasters can be a major issue for landlords, tenants and real estate agents. NSW Fair Trading can advise you about your rights and obligations for urgent repairs for rental properties.
You may face a variety of property hazards after storms and floods.
If your house was built or renovated before 1987, it probably contains asbestos. Learn about asbestos safety at work and home, how to dispose of it safely and the key facts on asbestos. Find a licensed asbestos removalist, you can also get free advice from the Asbestos Hotline on 1800 272 378.
For fact sheets, checklists, frequently asked questions and more, visit Asbestos Awareness.
Demolition work is potentially dangerous. Find out when you’re required by law to notify SafeWork NSW about demolition work and when you need to get a demolition licence. Use the asbestos and demolition checklist (PDF) to ensure your worksite meets safety standards.
If you have house insurance contact your insurer before you engage contractors to do repair work to find out if the repairs are covered.
Get quotes for the work you need and always ask for the person’s full name and licence number
If you’re in a flood-affected area and you don’t have insurance with specific flood coverage, the Insurance Council of Australia advises you to still make a claim, as your repairs may be covered under other provisions.
If you’re not sure who your insurer is, encounter problems with your insurer or have general questions about the claims process, call the Catastrophe Event Insurance Hotline on 1800 734 621.
The Financial Ombudsman Service has a fact sheet about flood and storm insurance claims (PDF).
The Financial Rights Legal Centre has factsheets on flood insurance guide (PDF) and what to do if your home or contents insurance claim is refused.
The Natural Disaster Relief Scheme helps communities and individuals directly affected by flood or any other declared natural disaster. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.
Disaster Welfare Services provides support to people who have been impacted by disasters such as floods, storms, bushfires and other emergencies. Contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.