NSW Aquaculture Industry 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 provides 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. 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.

NSW DPI Fisheries Fee Relief and Debt Waiver

To assist NSW DPI in assessing the level of damage from a respective natural disaster, such as fires, floods and storms, a simple online survey has been produced by NSW DPI. To report damage submit a survey.

  • Debt Waiver
    • If your location is declared a natural disaster area and you have been impacted you can apply for a NSW DPI Fisheries Debt Waiver (annual fees and charges) for 12 months on the basis of financial hardship.
    • Applications are assessed against a range of criteria, including being a current aquaculture permit holder; having a history of production; deriving the majority of their income from aquaculture farming; and assessment of income and available funds. For application forms contact Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982 1232.
    • If you qualify for a NSW DPI Fisheries debt waiver you will also receive a waiver of NSW Food Authority State Program fees.
  • Payment Schedule
    • For aquaculture farmers not eligible for Debt Waiver, Payment Schedules to pay off debt over time, may be applied for. For application forms contact Port Stephens Fisheries Institute, Aquaculture Administration on 02 4982132.


You can also apply to Department of Planning, Industry & Environment - Lands for lease and licence fee relief.


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.

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