Additional disaster assistance for councils affected by April storms

Issued: 18 November 2015

Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today announced extended claim periods for local councils to seek joint State-Commonwealth disaster assistance following storms and floods during the week of 20 April 2015.

The Australian and NSW governments already provided a range of assistance under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) to help communities in the Hunter, Central Coast and Sydney Metropolitan areas recover from the storms.

The NSW Government's standard claim period allows councils to claim assistance with the costs of clean up undertaken within 21 days of a disaster event. The NSW Government's decision to extend this time limit will enable councils to claim the cost of longer-term clean-up activities undertaken following the storms.

Mr Grant said he estimated the extension would enable an additional $9.8 million of NDRRA assistance to flow to the affected councils.

"The severe weather not only stretched our NSW State Emergency Services personnel, but also had a devastating impact on those affected communities including damage to local infrastructure," Minister Grant said.

"The extension being announced today will be of real benefit to the affected Councils and, in turn, to their communities," Mr Grant said.

Mr Elliott said storm cleanup had been a major challenge for Hunter and Central Coast communities.

"We are committed to recovery of this region and this extension will ensure it continues to receive the support it needs to return to normal as soon as possible," Mr Elliott said.

Member for Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen said this is welcome assistance for locals who are still suffering from the storms seven months on.

"The people of the Upper Hunter have been resilient in the face of this disaster which has caused extensive damage across the region.

"This assistance provides that extra surety that residents need to be able to get back to normal life," Mr Johnsen said.

Councils that have been given an extension are:

  1. Great Lakes (extension to 10 June 2015)
  2. Lake Macquarie (extension to 21 June 2015)
  3. Gosford (extension to 30 June 2015)
  4. Port Stephens (extension to 30 June 2015)
  5. Pittwater (extension to 30 June 2015)
  6. Wyong (extension to 31 July 2015)
  7. Maitland (extension to 30 November 2015)
  8. Cessnock (extension to 25 December2015)

Information on all disaster assistance available for this natural disaster can be found on the Emergency NSW website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/nddassistance Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au