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Disaster assistance for bushfire affected communities in NSW

4 May 2017

Joint media release - Minister for Emergency Services and Commonwealth Minister for Justice

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant today announced disaster assistance for the Cessnock and Singleton communities.

Minister Keenan said the assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), and relates to bushfires that occurred in Cessnock between 13 and 20 December 2016, and Singleton between 19 February and 2 March 2017.

"The Australian and New South Wales governments are committed to working together to ensure that disaster affected communities have access to the assistance they need to help them recover as quickly as possible," Mr Keenan said.

Minister Grant said assistance is now available for eligible residents, small businesses and primary producers.

"The assistance will also help with the costs incurred from fighting the fires and restoring damaged public infrastructure, which will make a real difference in getting communities back on their feet," Mr Grant said.

Assistance available under the NDRRA may include:

• 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
• Grants to eligible 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 raa.nsw.gov.au.
 
Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.