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Pat Conaghan MP

DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOLLOWING STORMS AND FLOODING IN COFFS HARBOUR REGION

Disaster assistance is now available in the local government area of Coffs Harbour following severe storms and flooding on Wednesday, 20 October 2021.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the severe storm caused significant widespread damage across the Coffs Harbour region.

“The heavy rainfall and giant hail generated by the storm caused localised flooding and damage to critical infrastructure and residential properties,” Minister McKenzie said.
“A range of practical assistance measures are now available through DRFA to help families, individuals, primary producers, small businesses and charities to get back on their feet and to support Coffs Harbour City Council to repair and restore important public assets.”

New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services the Hon David Elliott said the event had required a significant response from the NSW State Emergency Services, who were supported by a range of other agencies and organisations.

“The assistance being announced today will help cover the costs associated with the operational response and repairing damaged essential public assets,” Minister Elliott said.
“Additionally, individuals will receive support to get back on their feet, including grants to replace essential household contents or repair structural damage to homes.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

 Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply)
 Support 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 non-profit organisations
 Freight subsidies for primary producers, and
 Grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.
To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

 

DRFA ASSISTANCE MEASURES (as activated by the NSW Government)

Assistance for individuals

Immediate assistance: This assistance is intended to meet the essential emergency needs of people who are directly affected by the disaster and have no other means of meeting their immediate needs (such as evacuees who are unable to access their personal finances or arrange alternative forms of assistance). The assistance may be provided during and in the days after the disaster. Assistance is provided through in-kind direct material aid e.g. emergency accommodation or small cash payments to purchase essential items. Immediate assistance is generally provided from evacuation or recovery centres.

Grants for essential household contents: These grants will assist with the cost of replacing household items essential to maintaining a basic standard of living. Examples of essential household contents include bedding, furniture, clothing, and essential electrical items (e.g. refrigerator, washing machine, stove). These grants assist low-income residents, not covered by insurance, who have no other means of restoring their homes to a safe and habitable condition following the disaster event. Grants are subject to income and assets testing. The amount of assistance provided depends on the assessed needs of the affected household and the number and type of items that have been damaged.

Grants for essential structural repairs to homes:

These grants provide a contribution toward essential structural repairs to low income home owners who have no other means of restoring their homes to a safe and habitable condition following the disaster event, and who are not covered by insurance. Grants are subject to income and assets testing. The amount of assistance provided depends on an assessment of structural repairs required and the number of occupants in the home.
• State administering agency: Resilience NSW
• Enquiry contact: Service NSW on 13 77 88.

Assistance for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations

Concessional interest rate loans (direct damage) to small businesses and primary producers:
Loans of up to $130,000 at a fixed concessional interest rate may be available to small businesses and primary producers (subject to certain eligibility criteria) that have been directly impacted by a disaster. These loans may be used to meet carry-on requirements or to repair or replace damaged property not covered by insurance.
• State administering agency: NSW Rural Assistance Authority
• Enquiry contact: NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

Concessional interest rate loans (direct damage) and grants to non-profit organisations:

Assistance to sporting and recreation clubs: A special scheme is available to assist sporting and recreation clubs in meeting the costs of restoration of essential club facilities that have been damaged or destroyed. The assistance is only made available to clubs that do not have the financial capacity to meet restoration costs from their own resources, and who are unable to obtain assistance through normal channels, but that have the capacity to repay any loan that may be granted. The maximum assistance available is $12,000, including a grant of up to $2,000 and the balance by way of repayable advance with interest.
• State administering agency: NSW Treasury
• Enquiry contact: NSW Treasury on 02 9228 4380.

Loans to non-profit organisations: Loan assistance is available to voluntary non-profit organisations for the restoration of essential facilities that have been damaged or destroyed. Assistance is only available to those organisations that do not have the financial capacity to meet restoration costs from their own resources or insurance and are unable to obtain assistance through normal channels. Advances are subject to a maximum of $25,000 at a concessional interest rate per annum.
• State administering agency: NSW Rural Assistance Authority
• Enquiry contact: NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

Freight subsidies for primary producers: Transport freight subsidies 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 to help primary producers. The maximum subsidy available is $15,000 per annum.
• State administering agency: NSW Rural Assistance Authority
• Enquiry contact: NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

Assistance for state agencies and local councils

Counter disaster operations: This assistance helps state agencies and councils with the costs associated with delivering exceptional relief and recovery measures within impacted communities which go beyond the capacity of the state or local government. This may include activities to render damaged properties or threatened houses safe and habitable, sandbagging and the construction of temporary levees to prevent inundation of residential properties.
• State administering agency: Resilience NSW
• Enquiry contact: Resilience NSW on 9212 9200.

Restoration of essential public assets: This measure provides financial assistance to help with the costs of restoring or repairing eligible essential public assets damaged as a direct result of a disaster to their pre-disaster standard.
• State administering agency: Transport for NSW and Public Works Advisory
• Enquiry contact:
o For assistance to restore public roads, road infrastructure and bridges, councils should contact their regional representatives in Transport for NSW.
o For assistance to restore other essential public assets, councils should contact their regional representatives in Public Works Advisory.

Other assistance

The NSW Government may also claim costs associated with certain other disaster assistance measures undertaken by state agencies and councils, including the establishment and operation of evacuation and recovery centres, personal and financial counselling services, engagement of community recovery officers and debris removal from residential properties.

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