Disaster assistance is now available to help people and businesses in Port Macquarie heavily impacted by recent storms and flooding.

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

Federal Nationals Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said the assistance was needed as while the recent rain was very welcome, it had brought with it damaging winds which had adversely impacted some home owners and businesses.

“The assistance announced by Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud will help severely impacted individuals, small businesses and farmers recover from the severe storm we saw come through this month,” he said.

“Grants are also available to assist individuals with the cost of replacing damaged essential household items such as bedding, furniture, clothing and white goods.

“Concessional interest rate loans for direct damage to small business and farms are also available, plus there are transport freight subsidies for farmers for up to 50 per cent on the carriage of livestock and fodder.

“If you have been severely impacted by storms or flood water, consider calling the relevant authorities to see if you are eligible for assistance.”

Disaster recovery arrangements have been put in place for 56 local government areas across New South Wales.

NSW Nationals Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said the declaration was also important for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council as the NSW Government would now be able to help council with the costs of its recovery measures and repairs to public infrastructure.

“Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has suffered damage to roads and infrastructure due to the storms this month, plus it has a lot of work to do to remove debris and get public assets repaired, so this declaration will help them,” Ms Williams said.

“Special assistance is also available to local sporting clubs and voluntary non-profit organisations unable to fund the restoration of essential facilities damaged or destroyed in this disaster.”

If you are uninsured and have low income, for information on personal hardship and distress assistance, please contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

If you are an individual and require assistance to replace damaged essential household items or would like to apply for a grant contribution toward essential structural repairs to your home to make it safe and inhabitable contact 1800 018 444.

If your business or farm has been affected by storms or flood damage contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

If you are a member of a sporting group or charity and require assistance to restore essential facilities contact NSW Treasury on 9228 4380.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au

Some assistance grants are subject to income and asset testing.