Disaster assistance is now available to help the  Heathcote community get back on its feet following the storm that swept across the state over the weekend. Assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) and is designed to help ease the financial burden that communities bear as a result of natural disasters.

Sutherland LGA is among 37 local government areas to receive assistance across NSW which includes:

  • assistance to help eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged, and who meet an assets and income test;
  • assistance to help councils in the affected local government areas with the costs associated with cleaning up and restoring damaged public assets;
  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations; freight subsidies for primary producers; and
  • grants to not-for-profit organisations.

Like many communities across the State, Heathcote has been hit hard by the storm and our neighbours and local businesses need our help. This support will provide immediate assistance to our community.

Events like these test us as a community. We have witnessed an extraordinary level of hard work and dedication from our emergency services and volunteers and for this we say thank you.

This assistance package will also ensure funding is available to help local councils clean up and restore damaged infrastructure so we can minimise disruption and recover as quickly as possible.

NSW Premier Mike Baird also announced today the appointment of a State Recovery Coordinator to oversee the clean-up and recovery effort and signed an order to protect volunteers to ensure they aren’t victimised by their employers, such as being terminated or having their employment conditions altered, for giving up their time. The order will be in force for one month.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Information on this disaster assistance is available at disasterassist.gov.au and emergency.nsw.gov.au.

Or contact my office for more information 95480144