Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the bushfire crisis and with our members and employers in the legal and community services supporting Australians through this devastating time.
If you’ve been affected by the bushfires and would like to discuss your superannuation or insurance needs, please get in touch with us on 1800 060 312. We're here to help.
Resources for those affected
Department of Human Services
For those directly impacted by the bushfires in disaster declared areas; refer to the Department of Human Services website for information about Disaster Recovery Allowances and payments.
Mental health support
The Australian, state and territory governments provide services that can support recovery to tragic events, together with local government and community groups.
Disaster Legal Help Victoria
Disaster Legal Help Victoria has issued an official statement on how Victorian bushfire victims can access free legal help. Contact them via free phone call on 1800 113 432 for assistance, or visit their website:
Legal Aid NSW
Legal Aid NSW is currently providing free, practical legal assistance to help those affected recover and rebuild. The LawAccess NSW Disaster Response Hotline is 1800 801 529 or visit their website:
Many solicitors live in regional communities that have been devastated by the fires or are still under threat. For those solicitors whose practice has been destroyed or damaged in the fires, the Law Society of NSW, in association with Lawcover, can offer assistance in relation to:
- Trust accounting;
- Professional support for loss of files; and
- Professional support in costs, ethics and regulatory compliance for any affected legal practice.
The help line for this assistance is (02) 9926 0333, or read more:
Legal Services Commission of South Australia
Bushfire victims in SA can contact the Legal Services Commission of South Australia on 1300 366 424 or alternatively, contact the Law Society of South Australia by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 08 8229 0200.
Legal Aid Queensland
Legal Aid Queensland can offer free bushfire legal help, call 1300 004 924 for their assistance. They have guides to assist Queenslanders with their insurance claims after a natural disaster.
Pro bono legal assistance
In this time of great tragedy, we need to do all we can, as members of the Australian community and the legal community, to assist those impacted by the bushfires who have lost so much.
Call for volunteers
The Law Insititute of Victoria (LIV) has put a call out to its members for volunteers to assist with pro bono legal assistance and other tasks, which may include community meetings.
Please read the legal response from Sam Pandya, The LIV President, to the Victorian bushfires to find out more about how you can offer assistance. Find out more.
New South Wales
The Law Society of New South Wales is working with the NSW Attorney General’s Office, Legal Aid NSW and the NSW Bar Association to formulate a statewide pro bono legal assistance capability to ensure a timely response as the emergency enters the recovery phase.
If you are in a position to provide pro bono legal assistance over the coming weeks and months, please email the Law Society at email@example.com. For more information, read the response to the Bushfires from Richard Harvey, President, Law Society of NSW. Find out more.
The act of listening closely to survivors of trauma is a task that often falls to lawyers, solicitors and others in the legal industry. If you're caring for those who have suffered losses, it's important to also care for yourself.
The Law Society of NSW has compiled a list of wellbeing resources, tailored to the needs of Australia's legal community.