Vital support for Central West and Upper Hunter communities following recent bushfires

Media release | 11 March 2017

Small businesses affected by the devastated recent bushfires in the Upper Hunter and Central West can seek immediate support from the Office of the Small Business Commissioner to accelerate their recovery and get back to business.

Mr Barilaro said the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner offered a range of practical support for impacted businesses, including working with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to secure more time for businesses to deal with their tax obligations.

“The bushfires have had a devastating impact on primary producers in the Upper Hunter and the Central West and we want to provide the best practical help so people can get their lives back on track as soon as possible,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Depending on their individual circumstances, businesses could get more time to lodge, pay and respond to the ATO and some businesses might also be eligible for assistance payments.

“This news will be a welcome relief for primary producers in and around locations including Cassilis, Dunedoo and Coolah which were all severely impacted during the recent catastrophic fires.

About 140 properties suffered damage, including losses to farmhouses, workshops, shearing sheds, fencing and stock watering systems. Those losses across some 55,000 hectares are estimated at $96 million.

Mr Barilaro said that as well as other assistance from NSW Government agencies, advisors from the Government’s Business Connect service are ready to help.

“Business Connect advisors will provide affected businesses with two free, independent and confidential business advisory sessions,” he said.

“The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner is also able to help any business experiencing issues accessing support or unfair treatment.”

Contact details: ATO 13 2866; Business Connect 1300 134 359 or Office of NSW Small Business Commissioner 1300 795 534 or email

Download the media release