C ommonwealth Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and NSW Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today announced additional disaster assistance for NSW communities affected by the recent storms and floods.
Assistance is being extended to the local government areas of Gloucester, Hawkesbury, Ku-ring-gai, Mosman and Waverley through the jointly‑funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
“As flood waters have receded, we have been able to gain a better understanding of the devastation caused by the severe weather which began on 20 April 2015,” Mr Keenan said.
The range of assistance measures available include:
- Personal hardship and distress assistance for affected individuals and families;
- Support for councils to undertake counter disaster operations and restore essential public assets;
- Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and voluntary not-for-profit bodies;
- Freight subsidies for primary producers; and
- Grants to voluntary not-for-profit bodies.
“Despite the challenging road ahead, communities are pulling together and getting on with the massive clean-up job at hand,” Mr Keenan said.
“The availability of assistance to primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit bodies is vital in ensuring the ongoing viability of these industries during this difficult time.”
Mr Elliott said the severe weather had caused enormous damage, not only to property, but also to local infrastructure.
“It is clear that these communities are enduring significant hardship and this assistance will provide individuals, families and communities with a much needed helping hand,” Mr Elliott said.
“This assistance will also help to rebuild and replace basic infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, and assist councils with the clean-up bill”.
The Australian and NSW governments will continue to work together to ensure that communities have access to the assistance they need.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. Applications for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy can be made through the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or at www.raa.nsw.gov.au.
Information on disaster assistance available for this natural disaster can be found on the NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency services website at www.mpes.nsw.gov.au/nddassistance, or the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au