Bushfire dumping program

Program snapshot

Category: Bushfire Recovery Programs

Amounts: The program will be administered in two phases and provides up to $5 million in funding to public land managers to effectively deal with the full extent of dumped bushfire waste in their region.  

  • Phase 1 Data Collection Initiative (closed) – scoping the extent of bushfire dumping: eligible applicants have been provided with a designated consultant to scope the extent of bushfire dumping in their region. This information will be the basis for their application in Phase 2.

    Phase 1 is optional. Applications may be made in Phase 2 without having participated in Phase 1.
  • Phase 2 – Clean-up, disposal and prevention: Applicants will be provided funds to clean-up and dispose of dumped bushfire waste and to implement dumping prevention measures. Each application must submit a specific clean-up proposal, including evidence of the dump(s) with defined location(s), estimates of the amount and type of waste, clean-up cost breakdowns, details of contractors, proposed preventative measures and their intended outcome.
  • Each application will be assessed on its merits and will be subject to the assessment and approval of a technical review committee. If funding permits, a second round of funding will be opened.

Eligible bodies: NSW public land managers lands including local councils, Crown Lands, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation.

Contact: 131 555 or bushfirerecoveryprograms@epa.nsw.gov.au  

Status: Phase 1– Data Collection Initiative has closed.
Phase 2 – Closes 30 June 2021.

Managed by: NSW Environment Protection Authority


The program’s objectives are to

  • Lawfully manage known bushfire dumps resulting from the 2019-20 bushfires and ensure they do not pose any further risks to humans or the environment.
  • Reduce the financial impact on public land managers to clean up and dispose of bushfire dumps resulting from the 2019-20 bushfires.
  • Improve data quality on the extent of bushfire dumping across NSW as a result of the 2019-2020 bushfires. This will provide important baseline evidence of the lingering impact of the bushfires.
  • Better prepare public land managers to deter future bushfire dumping by supporting the implementation of prevention and deterrence measures.
  • Provide regional employment opportunities in bushfire affected areas.

How to apply

Phase 1: Data Collection Initiative has closed.

Phase 2: Applications open on SmartyGrants from Tuesday 6 April 2021 until 5:00pm on Wednesday 30 June 2021.

What is the bushfire dumping program?

This program provides support to public land managers to effectively deal with the full extent of bushfire dumping in their region. 

What can funding be used for?

Phase 1 will provide applicants with an experienced consultant to scope the extent of bushfire dumping in your area. Phase 2 will provide funding for the safe removal and disposal of bushfire dumping, including asbestos, and for implementing future deterrence measures.

What if I don’t know how much bushfire dumping is on our land?

Phase 1 of the program provides funding to scope the extent of bushfire dumping on your land before applying for grants to clean-up and dispose this waste. 

What about bushfire dumping across another public land boundary?

Joint applications are encouraged in this program where bushfire dumping crosses tenures on public lands. You will have to appoint one group to manage the project and provide an agreement signed by both parties.

Can we apply for this grant if we have already cleaned-up bushfire dumped waste?

Applications will be accepted for any bushfire waste cleaned-up as of 9 November 2020. We recognise that some of this waste may have already been cleaned up due to the time since the fires, however, retrospective grants beyond this date are not within the scope of this program.

How much can I apply for under one grant application?

No funding cap is being placed on each application due to the discrepancies between the size, complexity and location of each clean-up. 
On average however, individual projects are expected to have an upper limit of $400, 000 to provide equity across multiple applications. 
Applicants can still request funding over $400,000 however will need be extremely well justified against the assessment criteria and in-kind contributions will be encouraged for these cases.

Are applicants guaranteed funding if they participate in the program?

No. Applications for funding in Phase 2 will be competitive and scaled depending on the extent of impact. 

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