Disaster funding extended to support Riverina communities

The Nationals’ Federal Member for Riverina and Minister for Small Business, Michael McCormack has welcomed the extension of disaster assistance for seven additional New South Wales communities, specifically the local government areas of Lockhart Shire and Wagga Wagga City Council, in response to flooding which occurred from late August.

“The impact that the recent floods had on local communities across the Riverina and Central West has been nothing short of devastating,” Mr McCormack said.

“The floods have affected farmers, small business owners, travellers and transport operators far and wide. Roads have been ripped up, crops inundated and shops have had to reduce trading hours.

“The funding announced today would assist the Lockhart Shire and Wagga Wagga City Council areas in ensuring they have the resources and support needed to recover from the impacts of the floods,” Mr McCormack said.

A range of recovery assistance is now available to help the communities of Albury, Brewarrina, Carrathool, Greater Hume, Griffith, Lockhart and Wagga Wagga, taking the total number of disaster declared local government areas to forty-three.

Under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), a range of assistance is available to help flood affected individuals, small businesses, primary producers, and the local councils with their recovery, including:

  • 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.

“With the flood waters all but receded across the Riverina and Central West, the announcement of this extension of funding will be welcome news for those councils and communities affected by the floods who can now start the repair and rebuilding process.

“The Coalition Government stands ready to assist affected local communities to get back on their feet, and I am pleased to see the Federal and State Governments working together to announce this funding,” said Mr McCormack.

The 43 local government areas receiving NDRRA assistance include: Albury, Bathurst, Berrigan, Bland, Blayney, Bogan, Brewarrina, Cabonne, Carrathool, Cobar, Coolamon, Coonamble, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Cowra, Dubbo, Edward River, Federation, Forbes, Gilgandra, Greater Hume, Griffith, Hay, Hilltops, Junee, Lachlan, Leeton, Lockhart, Mid-Western, Murrumbidgee, Murray River, Narrabri, Narrandera, Narromine, Orange, Parkes, Snowy Valleys, Temora, Wagga Wagga, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle, Weddin and Yass Valley.

Those experiencing personal hardship and seeking distress assistance should contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 and 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 from my electorate office or by visitingwww.disasterassist.gov.au and www.emergency.nsw.gov.au.

Cristy Houghton