Disaster recovery assistance is available in multiple local government areas following severe storms and floods from March 10 in the following local government areas:
- Central Coast
- Clarence Valley
- Coffs Harbour
- Lake Macquarie
- Nambucca Valley
- Port Macquarie-Hastings
- Port Stephens
Assistance provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 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
- grants to eligible non-profit organisations
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88. 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 Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and Service NSW at www.service.nsw.gov.au.
Local NSW Nationals MPs, including Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie, Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead, Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan and Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh welcomed the declaration which will provide assistance to many residents doing it tough right now.
Dr Gillespie, who has been isolated at his home in Sancrox, has received a briefing from Northern Region SES Commander Steve Patterson and spoke to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud MP.
“I was pleased when the Prime Minister told me that the Commonwealth stood ready to provide any assistance required by our state and local agencies through the natural disaster assistance arrangements,” Dr Gillespie said.
Mr Bromhead said the flood impacting the region was the worst in recent memory, but it was at least a small relief for the many who had been impacted to know that there was help available.
“I want to thank all of the incredible SES volunteers and others for their tireless work helping our community as this disaster continues to unfold. My heart goes out to all those who have and continue to be impacted,” Mr Bromhead said.
“As the situation continues to evolve I urge people to limit their movements for their own safety. I too am heeding this advice but when conditions allow, I’ll be out and about in our community with local emergency services to help steer recovery efforts across our community.”
Mr Conaghan said the state and federal governments were committed to ensuring flood-affected regions were supported in their recovery from this serious weather event.
“Significant rainfall, severe winds and widespread flooding has threatened lives and caused widespread damage to roads and properties across eastern New South Wales,” Mr Conaghan said.
“We know that these communities are resilient and, with the support of the Australian Government, they will recover quicker and stronger from this set-back.”
Mr Singh welcomed the offer of assistance.
“We know our community is resilient to disaster, but when the worst occurs it is a relief to know there is help available,” Mr Singh said.
“I join with my colleagues in the NSW and Australian Governments in supporting local residents during these extremely difficult circumstances.”
Once floodwater begins inundating an area, road access, water, sewerage, power, phones, and internet may be lost. If you remain in the area you will be trapped and it may be too dangerous for SES to rescue you.
Wherever possible, people should go and stay with family or friends, or make other accommodation arrangements. If you are unable to, an evacuation centre has been set up at the following location:
Residents in impacted areas are urged to:
- Lift possessions and important items above the predicted flood height
- Take pets, essential items, warm clothes, medicines, insurance documents and valuables with you.
- Leave as early as possible to avoid restricted roads.
- Share this information with family, friends and neighbours and help others where possible.
For more information:
- For the latest information listen to your local ABC radio station
- Follow the State Emergency Service on Facebook at /NSWSES or visit its website at www.ses.nsw.gov.au
- Latest weather, warnings, rainfall and river heights: www.bom.gov.au/nsw/
- Road Closures: www.livetraffic.com.au or http://www.myroadinfo.com.au
- For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW State Emergency Service on 132 500. In life-threatening situations call triple-0 immediately.