McCormack welcomes natural disaster relief

FORBES and six other Shires across the Riverina and Central West are set to receive disaster relief funding from the State and Federal Governments, following an announcement made in the region today.

Riverina Nationals’ MP Michael McCormack welcomed disaster assistance for the Forbes and Lachlan Valley communities in response to heavy rainfall, causing wide-spread flooding throughout the Central West.

In Forbes to announce the funding alongside Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan and NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant, Mr McCormack said today’s funding announcement would assist the Bland, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Cowra, Forbes, Hilltops, Parkes and Temora Shires across the Riverina and Central West.

“Our region has seen some of the worst in mother nature in recent days and weeks, but that has also brought some of the best in our natural resilience, community and charity,” Mr McCormack said.

“The local State Emergency Service officers and volunteers have done a fantastic job in ensuring our community is safe and protected throughout this flood event. For the communities which are impacted or isolated, the local SES has been a critical help.”

Mr McCormack said assistance has been made available under the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), which includes:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
  • Support for affected local councils to assist with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets;
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations; 
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers; and
  • Grants to not-for-profit organisations.

Mr McCormack reiterated the importance of locals continuing to spend their money within local country communities throughout the flood event.

“I met with many local small businesses in Forbes today with Scott Barrett, The Nationals’ candidate for Orange, and saw firsthand the number of small businesses which remain open and need local spend and investment,” McCormack said.

“Every dollar we can spend in local communities is a vital investment in local jobs and opportunities across the region. It is important to remember those small newsagencies, dress shops, cafes and supermarkets remain open and need locals to spend their money there.”

Today’s funding announcement demonstrates the Commonwealth and NSW Governments’ understanding of the issues affecting many catchments through the Riverina and Central West, and the willingness to assist.

“We stand ready to assist affected local communities to get back on their feet, and I am pleased to see this funding announced today,” Mr McCormack said.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, please 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

Information on the assistance available in response to this disaster is available at

Cristy Houghton