NSW Nationals Leader and Member for Monaro John Barilaro has welcomed the news that bushfire assistance has been extended to help those affected by the North Black Range fire burning near Braidwood.

Mr Barilaro said the assistance was being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

“It has been a tough time for communities in the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council area, but I want residents to know they’re not alone,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The North Black Range fire has burned thousands of hectares over the past couple of weeks, putting peoples’ lives on hold and badly damaging property.

“Through this assistance the Federal and State Governments will be able to help support residents during the ongoing clean-up efforts.”

Assistance measures 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.

Mr Barilaro also thanked firefighters, volunteers and community members who have helped during the bushfire.

“It has been heartening to see the community rally together and help each other through this challenging time,” Mr Barilaro said.

“On behalf of the Monaro community – thank you for going above and beyond despite the tough and gruelling conditions.”

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.

Further information is available on the Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.