1 April 2021

Disaster relief funding available for southeast NSW following recent floods

| Albert McKnight
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Flooded road at Jellat Jellat

Southeast NSW regions that were flooded during recent heavy rain – including Jellat Jellat, between Bega and Tathra – have been granted access to disaster relief funding. Photo: Bega Valley Shire Council.

Following heavy rain throughout March, southeast NSW businesses, producers and households are eligible for various forms of government disaster relief funding.

According to Weatherzone, during the month to 29 March, Batemans Bay received 273.4mm of rain, Bega got 214mm and Queanbeyan had 110.2mm.

According to the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA), a natural disaster has been declared by the Federal Government and NSW Government in the Bega Valley, Eurobodalla and Queanbeyan-Palerang shires due to the storms and flooding.

“If your farm, business, property or non-profit organisation is flood affected, we urge you to contact the relevant state and federal government agencies which are currently offering support and financial assistance,” said Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick.

READ ALSO: Demand for mental health support doubles as Rural Fire Service members hit hard by disaster

Bega Valley Shire Council said primary producers directly affected by a declared natural disaster who are in urgent and genuine need of assistance may be eligible for low-interest loans of up to $130,000.

Transport subsidies are also being offered to primary producers, covering up to 50 per cent of total stock or fodder freight costs to a maximum of $15,000 per farm enterprise, per financial year.

Small businesses and not-for-profit organisations who have been directly affected by a declared natural disaster, including floods, fires or storm damage, may also be eligible for low-interest loans of up to $130,000.

Households that have been directly affected by a natural disaster may be eligible for the Australian Government’s Disaster Recovery Payment of up to $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

Households can also apply for the Disaster Recovery Allowance, which provides short-term income support to assist people who have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of storms or floods.

“It’s really important for those who have been affected to reach out for help,” said Mayor Fitzpatrick.

“This may be a government agency or it may be your neighbour over the fence. With fires, floods and drought each taking their toll in recent times, it’s really important for all of us to keep a watchful eye on our friends and neighbours who may need some help.

READ ALSO: Emergency workers and Aboriginal Elders lead walk across new Batemans Bay bridge

“While government financial assistance is vital for councils, farmers and business owners, so are acts of friendship.”

The primary producer and small business low-interest loans, and the transport subsidy, can be applied for via the RAA’s website.

Households can apply for the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance through Services Australia or by calling 180 22 66.

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