Disaster assistance for bushfire affected communities in New South Wales

Issued: 14 February 2017

Joint Media Release by The Hon Michael Keenan MP, Minister for Justice Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism and The Hon Troy Grant MP, Minister for Emergency Services 

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant today announced that disaster assistance has been made available for affected communities across the state following last weekend's bushfires.

Minister Keenan said the assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

"The Australian and New South Wales governments are committed to supporting the communities that have been affected by bushfires.

"I commend the men and women in our fire and emergency services, career and volunteer, who are protecting New South Wales communities, and urge those affected to stay aware of their surroundings and heed the advice from emergency management authorities."

Minister Grant said a range of disaster assistance is available to help affected individuals, small businesses, primary producers, and local councils.

"Many communities have been severely affected by the bushfires over the weekend," Mr Grant said.

"The Australian and NSW governments have acted quickly to ensure affected people have access to much needed disaster assistance to support their recovery."

The seven local government areas receiving NDRRA assistance in response to the bushfires include: Kempsey, Mid Coast, Mid-Western Regional, Narrabri, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Upper Hunter, and Warrumbungle. This assistance includes:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
  • 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 non-profit organisations.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, 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 www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.au and the New South Wales emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.