Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds today announced the Australian Government has activated the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) for eligible employees, small businesses and those who have lost income as a direct result of the Tasmanian bushfires.
Affected individuals in the Central Highlands, Derwent Valley, Huon Valley and West Coast local government areas can now apply for this assistance.
"These bushfires have had a devastating impact on local communities and businesses, particularly in the forestry industry, affecting the ability for individuals to earn a living," Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
"The DRA is designed to assist those who have lost their income and need additional support to get back on their feet."
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments were working together to support those impacted by the bushfires.
"Given the bushfires may continue for some weeks, there is potential for people's income to be affected for a prolonged period of time," Premier Hodgman said.
"I again would like to acknowledge the tremendous response of the Tasmanian fire services who have been bolstered by support from around the country and New Zealand, who are working to put out the fires as quickly and safely as possible."
People eligible for DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance 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 bushfires.
The Australian Government assistance announced today is over and above the support already being provided for these areas under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
For more information or to make a claim visit www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster, call 180 22 66 or visit an Australian Government Department of Human Services service centre. The hotline will be open business hours 8 am to 5 pm from Monday 4 February 2019.
More information on Australian Government disaster assistance is available at www.disasterassist.gov.au.