Disaster assistance has been made available for another 18 council areas to help those worst-hit by the NSW bushfires.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Ballina, Byron, Lismore, Tweed, Kyogle, Gwydir, Narrabri, Tamworth, Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Singleton, Hawkesbury, Lithgow, Oberon, Blue Mountains, Ku-ring-gai, Penrith and Sutherland local government areas.
Minister Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said a range of programs were available for those worst hit by the fires along with response funding.
"We've acted swiftly to provide immediate financial support to bushfire-hit communities," Minister Littleproud said.
"This can include grants to charities, freight subsidies for farmers and concessional loans for small businesses.
"This is in addition to disaster assistance recently made available to 14 other areas.
"Further support will be made available once it is safe for State authorities to assess damage on the fire ground."
NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott said the fire has burned has burned more than 148,100 hectares in the Clarence Valley Local Government Area alone.
"Over 1700 firefighters and support personnel, along with 98 aircraft, have been deployed across New South Wales over the past weeks to combat these unprecedented fires," Minister Elliott said.
"The fire is still out of control, and I would urge everyone in the vicinity of the fire to monitor the situation, and follow any advice that is given by the Rural Fire Services."
Assistance measures available under the DRFA may include:
- help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
- upport for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring
- damaged essential public assets;
- concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and nonprofit
- freight subsidies for primary producers; and,
- grants to eligible non-profit organisations.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au
Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au
and the NSW emergency information and response website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au