Disaster assistance for communities hit hard by wide-spread flooding throughout New South Wales has been welcomed by the Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton.
Mr Coulton said the funding announced today would assist the Coonamble, Gilgandra, Lachlan, Narromine, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle and Western Plains Councils and ensure they have the resources and support needed to recover from the impacts of the floods.
Mr Coulton said assistance has been made available under the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), which includes:
• Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
• Support for affected local councils to assist with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets;
• Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations;
• Freight subsidies for primary producers; and
• Grants to not-for-profit organisations.
Mr Coulton said the assistance for individuals would encompass emergency accommodation, food hampers or small cash payments to purchase essential items while grants for essential household items will assist with the cost of replacing household items needed to maintain a basic standard of living.
“Grants for essential structural repairs to homes for low income home owners who have no other means of restoring their homes to a safe and habitable condition following the disaster event will also be available” Mr Coulton said.
He said concessional interest rate loans of up to $130,000 may be available to small businesses and primary producers, subject to certain eligibility criteria, that have been directly impacted by the flooding disaster.
“A special scheme is available to assist sporting clubs in meeting the costs of restoration of essential club facilities that have been damaged or destroyed” Mr Coulton added.
Mr Coulton said transport freight subsidies for primary producers of up to 50 per cent on the carriage of livestock and fodder, and 25 per cent on the carriage of fodder for dairy cattle are available.
He said assistance for state agencies and local councils would be made available to help repair State and local roads damaged by flood waters.
“The Australian Government stands ready to assist affected local communities to get back on their feet, and I am pleased to see this funding announced today,” Mr Coulton said.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, please 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 raa.nsw.gov.au.