Disaster assistance is now available for the Clarence Valley and Tenterfield Local Government Areas that have been affected by the recent bushfires, Federal Nationals MP Kevin Hogan said.

“My thoughts are with the families and businesses who’ve come under threat, some of whom have lost properties too,” the Member for Page said.

“It’s a devastating experience, and our hope is that this assistance will ease some of the burden you’re now facing.”

“These fires have been severe. They’ve been fuelled by strong winds and have burnt through thousands of hectares of land threatening lives and communities.”

“The speed of these fires shows the need for communities to stay vigilant and to have a emergency plan, especially as we try to bring them under control,” Mr Hogan said.

“I would also like to thank all of our firefighters and first responders for the tremendous job they have done to keep our communities safe. They acted swiftly and continue to update residents about the ongoing emergency response.”

Assistance Offered

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Assistance measures available under the DRFA may include:

• Help for people whose homes or belongings have been damaged,
• Support for affected local councils to help clean up and reconstruction costs,
• Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations,
• Freight subsidies for primary producers, and
• Financial grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. 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.

Further information on disaster assistance is at disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.