Disaster assistance is now available in two additional local government areas (LGAs) following severe storms and flooding from Tuesday 9 November 2021, which continues to impact areas of New South Wales.

The additional LGAs are Hilltops and Yass Valley.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said that damage assessments were still ongoing in a number of LGAs, particularly those areas which had received ongoing severe weather throughout December and into early January.

“We continue to work closely with the New South Wales Government, Councils and communities to ensure that people who have been impacted by this severe weather event are able to access the support they need when they need it most,” Minister McKenzie said.

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said households, small businesses and primary producers, who had been impacted by the severe storms and flooding, can contact Service NSW to discuss available assistance.

“Primary producers, including cherry growers, have been particularly hard hit in the Hilltops LGA with assessments showing that $1.2 million of damage has been sustained over 1,084 hectares,” Ms Cooke said.

“Assistance is now available to people who have had damage to their homes, and to small businesses and non-profit organisations in the form of concessional interest rate loans.

“This assistance is in addition to $50,000 primary producer grants the NSW and Federal Governments have previously announced to support storm and flood-affected farmers.”

Hilltops and Yass Valley LGAs are in addition to previous natural disaster declarations for the LGAs of Balranald, Bathurst, Bega Valley, Blayney, Blue Mountains, Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Broken Hill, Cabonne, Cobar, Coonamble, Cootamundra, Gundagai, Cowra, Dubbo, Eurobodalla, Federation, Forbes, Gilgandra, Glen Innes Severn, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Greater Hume, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Kyogle, Lachlan, Lismore, Lithgow, Liverpool Plains, Lockhart, Mid-Western, Moree Plains, Muswellbrook, Narrabri, Narromine, Oberon, Orange, Parkes, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Richmond Valley, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Upper Hunter, Walcha, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle, Weddin, Wentworth, Yass Valley and the Unincorporated Area of NSW.

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply);

  • Recovery grants for primary producers;
  • 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; and
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

To apply for a concessional loan or primary producer grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

Photo: Julie Hearne captures a storm coming over Rye Park