Individuals and councils impacted by flooding can now access the first tranche of NSW Government support through Service NSW.
Since February 22, 17 Local Government Areas have been declared as disaster areas.
These are: Armidale, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes Severn, Hornsby, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lismore, Nambucca, Port Macquarie/Hastings, Richmond, Tenterfield, The Hills and Tweed.
People in need of help should contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or at www.service.nsw.gov.au/floods/financial-assistance.
Further support measures will be announced in the coming days.
The initial assistance includes:
• A Disaster Relief Grant – to assist low income earners faced with disaster hardship who have suffered damage to the structure or contents of their home.
• Personal and financial counselling.
• Assistance finding temporary housing for those who have been forced from their homes.
Small business, primary production and not-for profit organisation support
• Small business and primary producers concessional loans of up to $130,000
• Concessional interest rate loans for not-for-profits
• Freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent for primary producers
• Assistance with operational costs and the restoration of essential public assets.
In addition, residents may be eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment, a one-off, non-means tests payment of $1,000 for adults and $400 for children who have been seriously injured, lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, or the immediate family members of a person who has lost their life, as a direct result of the storms and floods.
Disaster Recovery Allowances are also available through the Federal Government via Services Australia at servicesaustralia.gov.au
Service NSW customer care specialists are also able to connect flood-affected customers with services and support information, including:
• Access to emergency accommodation;
• Relevant charitable services;
• Mental health and wellbeing services;
• Financial assistance;
• Insurance and legal advice; and
• Replacing lost ID.
The NSW Nationals in the state government have also announced that residents facing the difficult task of cleaning up after flooding will be able to take flood-generated waste to the tip for free.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said many thousands of people remain subject to the threat of flooding.
“While we are still in the emergency phase, recovery is a process that must start as soon as it possibly can,” Ms Cooke said.
“Seventeen local government areas have been subject to natural disaster declarations and to help residents in these communities dispose of their flood-damaged goods and possessions, the NSW Government waste levy is being waived.
“The clean-up and recovery process will place an enormous emotional burden on our communities which is why we want to do everything possible to ease it.”
Building materials, furniture and any other flood-generated waste is covered by the waiving of the levy, which applies to waste from both public and private land.
If you are involved in the flood clean up, ask your local council which waste facility is taking debris, and whether there are special requirements for disposing of flood damaged waste.