Disaster assistance for storm-affected communities in New South Wales

Issued: 18 December 2015

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant today announced that disaster assistance has been activated in response to the severe storms and tornado which impacted parts of Sydney on 16 December 2015.

Mr Keenan said assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) in the worst-affected local government areas of Randwick, Sutherland, Waverley, and Woollahra.

"The Australian and New South Wales governments recognise the need for quick action to help affected communities recover from the devastating impacts of these storms, particularly so close to Christmas," Mr Keenan said.

Mr Grant said the intense storms and tornado caused widespread damage and destruction in many communities and will require state and local government agencies to undertake extensive clean-up operations.

"This assistance package will provide a much-needed helping hand to affected families and businesses and also ensure funding is available to help local councils clean up and to restore damaged infrastructure," Mr Grant said.

Mr Grant praised emergency services authorities for their efforts in responding to the disaster.

"I'd especially like to thank our emergency services personnel for the fantastic job they have done in responding to the storms and assisting the community," Mr Grant said.

Eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged can now apply for financial assistance towards replacing items and making their homes safe and habitable.

Other assistance measures available under the NDRRA include:

  • assistance to help local councils with costs associated with cleaning up and restoring essential public assets in the wake of the storm;
  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses and voluntary not-for-profit bodies; and grants to voluntary not-for-profit bodies.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 FREE. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 FREE or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

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