More flood assistance for Riverina

Residents of Coolamon, Gundagai, Tumbarumba and Tumut shires severely affected by recent flooding can now claim Commonwealth Centrelink payments of $1000 for each adult and $400 for each child.

Nationals’ Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has been vigorously lobbying Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Nicola Roxon since the first round of funding for Riverina residents was announced in March.  
He hopes the payments will provide an extra level of support to those severely affected by flooding.
“Finally there is some good news for the people most damaged by recent events,” Mr McCormack said. 
“It has been a trying time for the town of Ganmain, Beckom village, as well as those in Gundagai, Tumbarumba and Tumut shires.
“Hopefully this funding will bring some relief to those who have been severely affected by recent events.
“Communities throughout the Riverina have been doing it extremely tough as a result of these floods so this assistance will hopefully help them get back on their feet.”
Under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), emergency relief assistance is available to cover a range of expenses incurred in the immediate aftermath of an emergency. 
For these floods the assistance includes:
·         Personal hardship and distress assistance, including help with replacing essential items of furniture, personal effects and repairs to houses;
·         Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses and primary producerstransport freight subsidies for primary producers;
·         Restoration or replacement of essential public assets; and
·         Loans and grants to churches, voluntary non-profit organisations and sporting clubs.
Additional assistance will also be made for flood-affected farms and business.
“Under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, flood affected small businesses and primary producers in Coolamon, Gundagai, Tumbarumba and Tumut shires can now access up to $15,000,” Mr McCormack said.
“These communities have been waiting patiently for these grants to be accessible.
“Hopefully now this assistance will help people get back on their feet and continue clean-ups and replacement of damaged equipment as soon as possible.”
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is already available to all communities of Griffith, Leeton, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera and Wagga Wagga.
Information on the range of assistance which is available under the NDRRA can be found on the Disaster Assist website at  or by phoning 180 2266.

Cristy Houghton