Disaster funding now available for bushfire-affected NSW residents

Catastrophe destroyed over 40,000 hectares

Disaster funding now available for bushfire-affected NSW residents

Catastrophe & Flood

By Roxanne Libatique

Disaster assistance is now available for New South Wales (NSW) councils and residents impacted by bushfires early this month.

The assistance, provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), is available for bushfire-impacted areas in Bathurst, Bogan, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Dubbo, Mid-Western, Walgett, and Warren.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the bushfires had razed over 40,000 hectares of mostly isolated farmland across the Central and Central West NSW, destroying properties and hundreds of livestock.

“We understand that this is a stressful time for affected residents and farmers,” Watt said. “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who has sadly passed away after sustaining injuries in a hazard control burn in Forbes.

“I urge those defending their farms, livestock, and properties to please be vigilant, stay up to date with advice, and be very careful with the use of fire.”

Available bushfire assistance under the DRFA

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said the fund aims to support councils, property owners, farmers, and primary producers to clean up and recover from the recent bushfires.

Assistance available under the DRFA includes the following:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply);
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers;
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers, and non-profit organisations; and
  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets.

“Recent bushfires have had a devastating impact on a number of communities across New South Wales, which is why it is so important that we help residents get their lives back on track and councils make crucial repairs to public assets,” Cooke said.

“The NSW and Australian governments are working together to assist these eight council areas through the recovery process, with additional areas expected to be disaster declared shortly following more recent fires.”

As Australia remains vulnerable to natural disasters, the insurance industry has called for improving communities' resilience. This month, insurers called on the federal government to extend the Disaster Ready Fund's funding past the five-year budgeted commitment.

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