The New England electorate will benefit from a $200 million recovery funding package announced this week by the Australian and New South Wales governments to provide support for communities affected by the February and March 2021 storms and floods.
In addition, a $200 million Infrastructure Betterment Fund will be established to support the reconstruction and improved disaster resilience of public assets, damaged during the recent storms and floods as well as the 2019-20 bushfires.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the $200 million in support will be delivered through eight key initiatives and will help with the next stage of recovery for NSW storm and flood impacted regions.
“The impact of the severe storms and flooding on our community and industry here in the New England has been significant. The weather event brought about the closure of the Oxley Highway through Walcha to the coast, severely impacting local businesses. The re-opening of the highway on Tuesday (13 July) following extensive restoration works is welcome news.
“This third phase of recovery support is in recognition and appreciation of the work involved to repair and rebuild these major public assets and infrastructure and will provide support for our New England economy,” Mr Joyce said.
New England was one of over 70 Local Government Areas across NSW impacted by the storms and floods, with recovery funding targeted to help industry and job retention, help rebuild community infrastructure, deliver a range of projects to safeguard mental health and community wellbeing, and ensure impacted regions have resources that they need to bounce back.
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the NSW Storm and Flood Phase Three Recovery Package would ensure the long-term recovery of impacted regions.
“We have listened to farmers and producers and included more than $25 million to provide grants for rural landholders who do not qualify for the existing supports, as well as funding for environmental recovery initiatives, including riverbank restoration.”
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro said the 50/50 jointly funded package complemented the funding provided to date and would play a key role in supporting long-term recovery.
“The Australian and NSW Governments continue to stand by communities who were hit by devastating storms and floods earlier this year, many of whom were already reeling from the impacts of prolonged drought, bushfires and COVID,” Mr Barilaro said.
“We cannot underestimate the mental health and wellbeing of those impacted by these disasters and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to provide extensive support to assist communities hardest hit, as well as dedicated flood Community Recovery Officers in highly impacted LGAs to play the same important role as those already supporting bushfire-affected areas.”
People requiring ongoing flood assistance, support and referral are urged to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or online via service.nsw.gov.au/floods
Information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au