NSW Aquaculture Industry - Natural Disaster / COVID-19 Assistance

COVID-19 $9m Seafood Industry Assistance Package Announced 30 June 2020

To assist the NSW aquaculture industry following bushfire/flood/COVID-19 impacts during 2020, the NSW Government announced a $9 million NSW seafood industry support package. Key to the package for permit holders is a waiver of fees from DPI Fisheries, NSW Food Authority and Crown Lands. For more information please click here.


All current permit and lease holders will receive a waiver of their 2019/2020 account fees. Those customers who have already paid instalments for their 2019/2020 invoice will receive a credit on their account for 2020/2021. This will be done automatically - you will not have to apply for it. For any Fisheries inquiries please contact Aquaculture Administration by email aquaculture.administration@dpi.nsw.gov.au or mobile 0407 693 244.

Invoices for 2020/2021 are due to be raised in mid-July. Customers will be provided with a copy of their new invoice and a summary of their account following any adjustments due the debt waiver.

NSW Food Authority

All shellfish cultivation licence holders will receive a waiver of their licence fees (formerly State Levy fees) issued for the 2019/2020 period. Those that have already paid, or paid instalments, will receive a credit on their account to be applied to fees generated for the 2020/21 period. This will be done automatically - you will not have to apply for it. For any NSW Food Authority inquiries please contact Licensing & Accreditation Services on 02 6552 3000 or email bfs.admin@dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Crown Lands

All oyster lease and licence holders will receive a waiver of rent issued for the 2019/2020 period. Those that have already paid part or all of their rent for this period will receive a credit on their account to be applied to rent for the 2020/21 period. This will be done automatically - you will not have to apply for it. For any Crown Lands account inquiries please contact the Accounts Team on 1300 886 235/Option 1 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm).

Natural Disaster Assistance

To see if you are located within a declared natural disaster area and are eligible for assistance, visit the RAA Declared natural disasters page.

The NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) website has links to a number of low interest loans, grants, subsidies and other disaster assistance. The conditions and requirements associated with these grants and loans may change, so it is important to regularly check the web site or contact the RAA by phone on 1800 678 593.

The Rural Resilience team work with primary producers across regional and remote NSW.

It has staff across NSW and can provide support by way of referrals, liaising with other services (State and Federal) and delivering initiatives tailored to the particular need of the community. They work closely with other partners such as the NSW Rural Assistance Authority, Rural Financial Counsellors, the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) and the Local Lands Services to do this.

Assistance completing applications

Rural Financial Counsellors provide free and impartial rural financial counselling to eligible primary producers, including aquaculture farmers and small rural businesses. This service can assist in your disaster initiative applications.

Your nearest NSW Service Customer Care Centre can also assist with your disaster initiative applications.

Help Us to Help You!

The primary industries natural disaster damage survey is a simple online survey that farmers can use to record damage to primary production and animals from natural disasters such as floods, fires and storms. This source of “ground truth” information helps the Government and communities understand the scale and regional distribution of the impact of a disaster on primary production and target resources and assistance in an area.

Providing this data will help the government to determine the appropriate response levels for assistance from an event. To report damage, submit a survey on your phone or computer. It’s free and takes just a few minutes to complete.

Australian Government Support

For information on Australian Government Support visit Help in an emergency.


Oyster lease compliance efforts in the event of a natural disaster will focus on lease marking and navigation safety. If you have a work plan and can not meet your deadlines then speak to your local Fisheries Officers.

Services NSW

Service NSW can help businesses impacted by COVID-19 by working with federal, state and local government and the private sector to bring together all the support and services available to assist small business. See COVID-19 small business help.

DPI COVID-19 and Industrial Relations

NSW Department of Primary Industries has established a COVID-19 Primary Industries Liaison Team to help primary producers navigate the challenges and impacts of COVID-19 on their business and industry. See DPI COVID-19 help.

Health and Wellbeing

For access to local mental health services, please contact the organisations listed below:

  • The Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP)
    RAMHP provides a range of information services to individuals, communities and service providers to link rural and remote people to the help they need. Call 02 6363 8444 or visit the Rural Adversity Mental Health Program.
  • Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800
  • Community Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Mensline Australia: 1300 789
  • Beyondblue: 1300 224 636
  • Lifeline: 131114
  • Australian Red Cross: 1800 660 066
  • Black Dog Institute: 9382 4530