Federal Nationals Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has welcomed further funding for flood recovery in the Central West under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Mr McCormack said the recovery efforts were far from over, particularly in the Forbes and Parkes Shires in his electorate, as well as neighbouring Cabonne and Lachlan Shires.
“The Forbes and Parkes Shires were badly affected by flooding and the road to recovery will take some time,” Mr McCormack said.
“I welcome the announcement from the Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt to commit further funding to the Central West region.
“Issues such as this should be above politics and local community outcomes should be prioritised.
“The $100 million funding package, from both the State and Federal Governments, will include support for the repair and replacement of critical community assets, Legal Aid assistance and improving the resilience of public infrastructure.”
Mr McCormack said the package includes $40 million of in-principle support to deliver a resilient housing program and will consult with the local community to determine the details.
“I have spoken with the Mayors of Forbes and Parkes, Phyllis Miller OAM and Neil Westcott, respectively, and they tell me they are delighted with this announcement.
“I am pleased local community representatives will lead the discussion with State and Federal Governments to ensure the most important local projects are prioritised.”
The jointly funded Central West Recovery and Resilience Package comprises around $32 million for regional transport resilience, $25 million for community assets, $1 million for Legal Aid assistance, $2 million for a Central West Housing Consultation Program and the in-principle $40 million Central West Housing Consultation Program.
“I urge and encourage those who may be eligible to receive funding to reach out to my office for further information,” Mr McCormack said.
The DRFA is designed to provide Commonwealth funding to states and territories in response to natural disasters in a cost-sharing arrangement between the Commonwealth and relevant state/territory.
Assistance measures are divided into the following categories:
Category A: assistance to individuals to alleviate personal hardship or distress arising as a direct result of a disaster. Category A assistance is provided to impacted communities and individuals automatically by the states, without requiring prior approval from the Australian Government.
Category B: assistance to the state, and/or local governments for the restoration of essential public assets and certain counter-disaster operations. Category B assistance also covers assistance to small businesses, primary producers, not-for-profit organisations and needy individuals through concessional loans, subsidies or grants. Category B assistance is provided automatically by the states and territories without requiring approval from the Australian Government.
Category C: assistance for severely affected communities, regions or sectors and includes clean-up and recovery grants for small businesses and primary producers and/or the establishment of a Community Recovery Fund. Category C assistance is only made available when the impact of a disaster is severe. It is intended to be in addition to assistance under Categories A and B and is usually considered once the impacts of the disaster on affected communities have been assessed. Category C assistance must be requested by the states and territories and requires agreement from the Prime Minister.
Category D: exceptional circumstances assistance beyond Categories A, B and C. Category D assistance is generally considered once the impact of the disaster has been assessed and specific recovery gaps identified. Category D assistance must be requested by the states and territories and requires agreement from the Prime Minister. Category D assistance is generally cost-shared equally by the Australian and state or territory government.