Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said eligible primary producers who were affected by severe storms in Walcha and surrounding areas last December can now apply for recovery grants.
Assistance is being provided through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) for those affected by the storms from 20 December, 2018.
“Farmers lost livestock and their farm infrastructure was significantly damaged in the storms which also ripped through around 23,500 hectares of mature native trees that provided shade and shelter to livestock,” Mr Joyce said.
Supporting primary producers in Walcha and parts of neighbouring Armidale, Tamworth and Uralla was a priority for all levels of government.
The grants will help with clean up and recovery costs, including repairing and replacing damaged fences, equipment and machinery.
Mr Joyce said eligible primary producers could now access recovery grants of up to $15,000 in 45 parishes across Walcha, Armidale, Tamworth and Uralla.
Walcha Local Government Area:
Aberbaldie; Ainsley; Andy; Apsley; Bergen op zoom; Boulton; Branga; Cobrabald; Congi; Ella; Emu; Europambela; Fenwick; Gill; Glen Morrison; Halloran; Norton; Ohio; Oorundunby; Salway; Scott; Shelving; St Clair; St Leonard; Tia; Tiara; Uriamukki; Vernon (within Macquarie County, near Tamworth); Walcha; Waterloo; and Winterbourne.
Armidale Local Government Area:
Enmore; Merrigalah; and Gill.
Tamworth Local Government Area:
Tara; Muluerindie; Burke; South Burke; Anna; Vernon; and Ainsley.
Uralla Local Government Area:
Lawrence; Eastlake; Blacknote; and Sandon.
“The storm devastation came on top of terrible drought conditions that the Walcha area has been suffering for some time, exacerbating the effects of the drought,” Mr Joyce said.
To apply for a recovery grant, primary producers should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit raa.nsw.gov.au
As part of this announcement, a range of other disaster assistance is also being activated for individuals, small businesses, primary producers and other organisations in Uralla Shire that were affected by the storms.
Assistance will also be extended to affected communities in Uralla who may have suffered personal hardship and to help local councils with the cost of clean-up and repairing damaged public infrastructure.
Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au