STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin has welcomed news that natural disaster assistance will flow to flood and storm-affected residents, councils, businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations in Lismore City, Tweed and Kyogle Local Government Areas.
Ms Saffin yesterday (17 December) joined NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott, NSW State Emergency Services Commissioner Carlene York, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Lismore Deputy Mayor Cr Neil Marks at SES Northern Rivers Command Centre in Goonellabah, where the relief was confirmed under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan were also there for the announcement.
Ms Saffin said she was with Minister Elliott in Tenterfield and Drake on Wednesday (16 December) and had hoped a natural disaster declaration would be made promptly.
“This was before Lismore was thrown into afternoon chaos by torrential rain and flash flooding,” Ms Saffin said.
“I thank Minister Elliott and his Federal counterpart, Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud, for recognising that Lismore’s flash flood and the evacuations and damage associated with flooding in South Murwillumbah and Tumbulgum this week were very serious events.
“Lessons have been learnt from major floods in 2017, where the disaster assistance did not meet the need to repair and restore the catastrophic damage to Lismore and Murwillumbah.
“A big shout out to all of our first responders, particularly volunteer SES crews, for their exemplary work in several life-saving rescues, completing hundreds of call-outs for assistance, and monitoring and sandbagging across the region this past week.”
Assistance available under the DRFA may include:
- 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 eligible non-profit organisations.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au
Further information on disaster assistance is available on the NSW emergency information and response website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au and on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au
Friday, 18 December 2020.