Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has welcomed bushfire assistance for residents in the Gwydir LGA which is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Assistance is being provided for the Bobbiwaa Creek bushfire which started on February 12 in Mount Kaputar National Park and quickly spread over vast areas of land in the New England electorate’s western fringe.
On 14 February 2018, a Section 44 declaration was made by the NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner as the fire was beyond the control of local fire authorities and additional state assistance was required.
“This fire near Bingara burnt through more than 4,500 hectares of land, causing serious disruption to local communities, threatening life and property,” Mr Joyce said.
“Large numbers of firefighting personnel, appliances and aircraft were deployed to contain the fire.
“This latest assistance complements additional aid for recent fires across the New England at Watsons Creek and Scrub Creek near Tamworth, a major blaze at Bonnay near Bundarra, Eureka near Uralla and Mount Helen in the Upper Hunter.”
The majority of the NDRRA eligible costs are expected to be associated with counter disaster operations (i.e. firefighting operations). Assistance under the NDRRA may also include:
- help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
- 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;
- freight subsidies for primary producers; and
- grants to eligible non-profit organisations.
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