Assistance is now available in the Port Macquarie-Hastings, Mid-Coast, Kempsey, Nambucca and Coffs Harbour local government areas for communities affected by the October 2019 bushfires.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said the payments were there to help those hit by fires get back on their feet.
“This will help families get through this disaster with dignity,” Minister Littleproud said.
“A range of programmes are available to support those affected by the fires and funding for the response.
“Strong winds have fuelled the fires, burning out thousands of hectares and threatening lives.
“Sadly two people have died and more than 100 homes have been lost.
“We’re monitoring the situation and will provide further assistance as required.”
The New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott said significant firefighting operations are continuing in response to the bushfires.
“Our fire fighters are doing a tremendous job keeping these communities safe,” Minister Elliott said.
“They acted swiftly and continue to update local residents about the ongoing emergency response.
“The NSW Rural Fire Service have battled blazes during incredibly challenging weather conditions, and deployed hundreds of firefighters, appliances and aircraft to combat the fires, and I know everyone is incredibly grateful for those efforts.
“The speed at which these fires moved shows the need for communities to stay vigilant and to have a plan, especially as we try to bring them under control.
“Tragically, at least two lives have already been lost. Our thoughts are with those who may have lost a loved one. Our thoughts are also with those who have suffered injuries, property loss, or any other impact from the fires.
“This is an extraordinary situation, and our hope is that this assistance will ease some of the burden people are now facing.”
Assistance measures available under the DRFA may include:
- Support for people in hardship to help with their immediate emergency needs.
- Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged.
- Funding to support firefighting operations.
- Support for affected local councils to help clean up and reconstruction costs.
- Concessional rate loans for small businesses, farmers and non-profit organisations.
- Freight subsidies for primary producers.
- Grants to eligible non-profit organisations.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the disaster welfare assistance line on 1800 018 444.
Assistance remains available for communities in the Armidale Regional, Bellingen, Clarence Valley, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Richmond Valley, Tenterfield, Uralla, and Walcha local government areas that have been affected by ongoing and new bushfires from 31 August 2019.
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 at disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.