Saturday, 27 March 2021
Media release

Joint media release with the Hon. Stuart Robert MP - Additional Australian Government assistance for NSW storms and floods

The Australian Government has extended the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) to support those significantly affected by the storms and flooding in more areas of New South Wales with over $32 million paid to flood affected residents to date.

People in the Ballina, Bathurst, Bega Valley, Brewarrina, Byron, Cabonne, Cobar, Eurobodalla, Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Kyogle, Lismore, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Oberon, Richmond Valley, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Tweed, Walcha, Walgett and Wingecarribee local government areas can now access the support package.

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the package provides assistance to those who had suffered a significant loss due to the storms and floods.

“The AGDRP provides a one-off payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, who have been seriously injured, lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, or the immediate family members of a person who has lost their life, as a direct result of the storms and floods,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The DRA provides a short-term income support payment to assist individuals whose income has been affected as a direct result of the storms and floods.

“By making these payments available, the Australian Government will ensure that those who have lost or sustained damage to their homes or lost their livelihoods as a result of the floods, will have the additional assistance they need to help them get back on their feet.”

These local government areas are in addition to the thirty four local government areas of Armidale, Bellingen, Central Coast, Cessnock City, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Dungog, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Newcastle City, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens and Tenterfield that were activated on Sunday, 21 March 2021.

Minister for Government Services, Stuart Robert, said Services Australia staff have mobilised and are providing immediate on-the-ground support to people affected by the devastating floods across New South Wales.

“Supporting communities through crisis is what Services Australia is geared to do and we have surged over 5000 staff to support the current disaster response effort,” Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert said.

“All three of the agency’s Mobile Service Centres have been redeployed to get services to Australians who need them.

“Tomorrow Golden Wattle will be staying on at the Taree Evacuation Centre, Blue Gum will be in Port Macquarie and Desert Rose is travelling from WA to provide assistance.

“Mobile Service Teams have already helped hundreds of people at local evacuation centres and staff will continue to provide assistance in the coming days.

“These teams include social workers, so staff can provide support and support service referrals as well as advice on how to claim disaster payments,” Minister Robert said.

People eligible for DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance.

Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the storms and floods.

Services Australia Disaster Assistance phone lines are open from 8am to 8pm local time, seven days a week. For more information on support available, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster

More information on Australian Government disaster assistance, including a full list of local government areas where the payment has been activated is available at www.disasterassist.gov.au