Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, and Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon. Linda Reynolds, today announced the Australian Government will provide financial assistance to those affected by the Northern New South Wales Bushfires.
Assistance is being provided through the activation of the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) and the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP).
“Whether it’s in Tingha, or Tabulam or around Tamworth, these fires have had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods,” Mr Joyce said.
“It doesn’t matter whether those communities have lost one house or 20 houses, that loss affects the individual just the same.
“That’s why at every opportunity I have been urging the Minister to make this assistance available for people in the New England.”
Minister Reynolds echoed Mr Joyce's sentiments.
“These fast-moving fires devastated local communities and businesses, impacting people’s livelihoods,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
“Affected individuals in the local government areas of Armidale, Kyogle, Inverell, Tamworth and Tenterfield can now apply for this assistance.
“It will take time for lives to return to normal and these payments will ensure that those affected have the help they need to get them back on track as quickly as possible.
“As this very dangerous bushfire season continues, it is important that all members of the community continue to be well prepared and have a plan.
The Australian Government assistance announced today is over and above the support already being provided for these areas under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
The DRA provides a short-term support payment to assist those who have lost their income as a direct result of the bushfires.
Those eligible for DRA can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance.
The AGDRP provides a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children who have been adversely affected by the bushfires.
AGDRP is available for individuals whose homes have been lost or directly damaged, and those who have been seriously injured.
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the bushfires.
For more information or to make a claim visit servicesaustralia.gov.au or call 180 22 66. The hotline will be open business hours 8 am to 5 pm from 25 February 2019.