Friday, March 27, 2020.
BUSHFIRE-HIT businesses in Tenterfield Shire Council and Kyogle Council Local Government Areas have been shut out of a new $10,000 support grant to cover loss of income, according to State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.
Ms Saffin has asked NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro to extend the Commonwealth-State grant to more eligible local businesses in recognition of the bushfires’ devastating impacts on the Tenterfield and Kyogle areas.
“Why can some businesses in Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley LGAs apply for this grant, but similarly impacted businesses from postcodes within Tenterfield Shire and Kyogle LGAs be denied what might be a lifeline?,” Ms Saffin asked.
“I have heard so many firsthand accounts from business people of how they been doing it really tough with the drought then the bushfires, so towns like Tenterfield and Kyogle and surrounding villages could do with a helping hand.
“Small businesses in Urbenville, Drake, Tabulam, Bonalbo, Old Bonalbo and Woodenbong have been suffering financially for many months as a result of the fires and they should not be shut out of applying for assistance.”
The new $10,000 grant is available to small businesses which have experienced a 40 per cent drop in revenue over a three-month period, compared to the previous year, as a result of the bushfires.
Eligible businesses must be located in the following selected LGAs: Bega Valley, Blue Mountains, Clarence Valley, Eurobodalla, Hawkesbury, Kempsey, Lithgow, Mid Coast, Nambucca, Port Macquarie, Queanbeyan, Richmond Valley, Shoalhaven, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly.
Ms Saffin said that while helping constituents stay safe during the COVID-19 situation was paramount, she wanted to let all those recovering from the bushfires that she had not forgotten them and is staying the course with them.
“There are dozens of constituents with whom I am staying in regular contact, ensuring that their individual, family or business issues are being followed up with the relevant Ministers or government agencies,” Ms Saffin said.
“The pace of bushfire recovery could slow because of COVID-19 restrictions but the painstaking work of clean-up and rebuilding homes will require a focussed and determined community effort from us all.”