Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Fire Recovery Unit

2009 Victorian bushfire information and resources

Whole-of-Government Bushfire Recovery Services Guide

Victoria’s 2009 bushfire-affected communities continue to rebuild their lives, homes, towns and communities through hard work and perseverance. To assist with the rebuilding and recovery process, the Fire Recovery Unit has published a Bushfire Recovery Services Guide and a Quick Reference Guide .

Download the Quick Reference Guide - Services and Support for People affected by the 2009 bushfires - June 2015 (PDF 101.6 KB)    (WORD 532.1 KB)

The Bushfire Recovery Services Guide has three key sections:

  1. Specific 2009 bushfire recovery information (including bushfire and rebuilding planning, on-ground assistance, counselling, and bereavement).
  2. General information (including personal, financial and legal, accommodation and business support).
  3. Local area guides (additional services located in bushfire-affected communities).

This guide is only available online.  Periodically visit this home page to ensure you have the latest version.

Download the Victorian Government Bushfire Recovery Services Guide (PDF 401.5 KB)    (WORD 177.0 KB)

Contact the Fire Recovery Unit on 1800 055 714 or email should you require assistance with the Guide or require information about bushfire recovery.

Planning Provisions for Temporary Accommodation and Streamlined Planning Process

After the 2009 fires special provisions were introduced to allow for temporary accommodation and to fast track approval of a replacement house on a site affected by the bushfires.

The provision for the streamlined replacement of a house will now apply until 30 September 2017 and the provision for occupation of temporary accommodation will now apply until to 30 September 2018.

Please Note: New temporary accommodation cannot be constructed without a planning permit from council.

Planning Provisions Information:

2009 Bushfire Affected Communities - Five Year Consultation

Report to the Victorian Government of the 2009 bushfire-affected communities - five year consultation
Mr Ben Hubbard (January 2014)

To better understand the complexities of long-term recovery as we approached the fifth anniversary, the Victorian Government commissioned Mr Ben Hubbard, former Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA), to consult with those affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

The purpose of the consultation was to report to Government on:

  • how bushfire-affected communities see themselves five years on from the fires;
  • the results and benefits of the Government’s recovery and reconstruction efforts; and
  • what, if anything, remains to be done in relation to recovery.

Mr Hubbard’s Report to the Victorian Government of the 2009 Bushfire-Affected Communities – Five Year Consultation (the Report) is welcomed by the Government.

To protect the privacy of respondents involved in the consultation process of this Report, statements which could identify individual respondents have been removed from this public copy of the Report

Download the report here (PDF 10.3 MB)

Victorian Government Response: Report to the Victorian Government of the 2009 Bushfire-affected communities - Five Year Consultation (July 2014)

The Report to the Victorian Government of the 2009 Bushfire-Affected Communities – Five Year Consultation has been considered by the Victorian Government, including parliamentary representatives and senior officials involved in the Government’s recovery effort. The Victorian Government supports the recommendations contained in the Report, in whole or in part, and has prepared a response document.

Download the Victorian Government Response here (PDF 121.0 KB)

2009 Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group legacy document

The Bushfire Bereaved Advisory Group (BBAG) was established by the Victorian Government in December 2009 to provide advice on issues affecting those bereaved by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

This volunteer group has documented their thoughts, observations and experiences and compiled the BBAG Legacy Document which tells the critical story of the many and varied experiences of people bereaved by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.

It raises awareness around disaster bereavement and also documents the invaluable learnings and reflections of those who gave their time and energy to participate in BBAG between December 2009 and June 2013.

The link to the document can be found at

The Fire Recovery Unit (the ‘Unit) was established on 1 July, 2011 following the closure of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority. The Unit’s role is to assist the ongoing recovery of communities impacted by the 2009 Victorian bushfires by facilitating strong relationships and clear responses to identified community needs.

In line with the ongoing transition of the State Government’s bushfire-specific recovery services, the Fire Recovery Unit (FRU),underwent a number of changes on 1 July 2013.

A centrally-located Community Engagement Coordinator will replace regionally-based staff and be available to support fire-affected communities with recovery-related issues.

The final edition of the FRU newsletter was published in August 2013 and featured additional information to ensure that community members can continue to stay in touch with the latest recovery news from local council, service providers and community organisations.

The FRU can be contacted on 1800 055 714 or

Bi-Monthly Fire Recovery Unit Newsletter
Extension to Bushfire Planning Provisions - Streamlined Planning Process extended to 30 September 2017 and Occupation of Temporary Accommodation extended to 30 September 2018
Download the 2012 Fire Recovery Unit Housing Survey (PDF 308.1 KB)    (WORD 1.9 MB)
Download the Victorian Government Bushfire Recovery Services Guide (PDF 401.5 KB)    (WORD 177.0 KB)
Yellow Ribbon communications guidelines 
Beyond Bushfires Study
Victorian Bushfire Recovery Five Year Update

The Unit works closely with rebuilding and planning initiatives across government to respond to the medium to longer term recovery needs of communities. It also liaises with agencies and local government authorities delivering reconstruction and recovery programs.

The Unit's key objectives are to:

  • provide a clear point of contact for information and connection to services within the State Government for bushfire-affected communities
  • understand community issues and needs by placing dedicated Community Engagement Coordinators within fire-affected regions
  • monitor and report to stakeholders on the status of progress of relevant bushfire recovery activity
  • communicate key information to support bushfire-affected communities
  • strengthen connection and relationships between bushfire-affected communities and local government
  • encourage bushfire-affected communities to create and implement their own vision for the future, and
  • provide guidance and advice to communities on access to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund medium term funding allocation.

Useful Contact Numbers

Fire Recovery Unit - 1800 055 714

The Fire Recovery Unit assists people and communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. The Unit provides a clear point of contact within the State Government for bushfire affected community members to obtain information and connect with services.


Community Engagement Coordinator

A Community Engagement Coordinator (CEC) within the Fire Recovery Unit provides an important interface between impacted communities and government. The CEC provides hands-on support to communities, assisting with the resolution of community issues and helping to deliver rebuilding and recovery projects. Contact Bec Nicoll on 0434 211 241 or

Victorian Bushfire Information Line - 1800 240 667

The Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) provides information during significant bushfire incidents and helps the community to prepare for bushfire risk.

VBIL staff can provide information on:

  • major bushfires
  • bushfire safety messages;
  • community meeting information;
  • Emergency Relief Centre location details;
  • bushfire recovery information;
  • Total Fire Bans and Fire Restrictions;
  • Department of Environment and Primary Industriesfuel reduction burns, other planned burns and community consultation.

Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund - 1800 180 213

The Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund (VBAF) supports individuals and communities in towns and suburbs affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires. VBAF can provide information on open grants for people who were affected by the 2009 bushfires.

Email the Fire Recovery Unit or call 1800 055 714

Victorian Emergency Recovery information line button



Email the Fire Recovery Unit
or phone: 1800 055 714

Download the Fire Ready mobile application

Last Updated: 31 August 2015