Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant today announced that disaster assistance has been activated in response to the bushfires that began on 11 December 2015 and impacted the local government area of Hawkesbury.
Mr Keenan said disaster assistance was being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
“This announcement reflects the commitment of the Australian and New South Wales governments to work together to ensure affected communities have the support they need to recover from natural disasters,” Mr Keenan said.
Mr Grant said the bushfire had impacted the Yengo National Park, the Parr State Conservation area, and private land.
“This assistance includes a number of arrangements to help the community with the cost of relief and recovery,” Mr Grant said.
The assistance measures available under the NDRRA include:
- personal hardship and distress assistance for affected individuals and families;
- assistance to help local councils with the costs associated with 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
Federal Member for Macquarie Louise Markus said natural disasters are always a challenge for communities to recover from. The NDRRA program gives families, small businesses and primary producers who have been affected in the Hawkesbury bushfires, assistance as they move towards recovery.
State Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet said unfortunately Hawkesbury is no stranger to natural disasters, but this funding will be welcome relief to those affected by the 2015 fires and the people and organisations who did such great work in the cleanup and recovery.
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.
Information on disaster assistance available for this natural disaster can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the Emergency NSW website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au.