Local News

Bega Valley mayor welcomes disaster relief funding


Above: The Bega Valley Shire has been granted access to disaster relief funding from the state and federal governments.

Bega Valley Shire mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick has welcomed the Bega Valley Shire being eligible to apply for disaster relief funding following last week’s heavy rain and flooding.

The state and federal funding boost will provide funding relief to people and local government areas directly impacted by the floods.

“If your farm, business, property or non-profit organisation is flood affected, we urge you to contact the relevant state and federal government agencies who are currently offering support and financial assistance,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

Primary producers directly affected by a declared natural disaster who are in urgent and genuine need of assistance may be eligible for low interest loans of up to $130,000.

Transport subsidies are also being offered to primary producers, covering up to 50% of total stock or fodder freight costs to a maximum of $15,000 per farm enterprise, per financial year.

Low interest primary producer loans and the transport subsidy can be applied for at: www.raa.nsw.gov.au

To further understand the level of assistance required in the primary industries, the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) is asking for business owners to complete a Primary Industries Natural Disaster Damage Survey. This can be found at https://bit.ly/3rj8S4B

The DPI also has a handy Natural Disaster Assistance Guide for Primary Producers available at https://bit.ly/2PssgPm

Small businesses and not-for-profit organisations who have been directly affected by a declared natural disaster including floods, fires or storm damage, may be eligible for low interest loans of up to $130,000.

Low interest small business loans can be applied for at: www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Households directly affected by a natural disaster may be eligible for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment of up to $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

Also for households is the Disaster Recovery Allowance, providing short-term income support to assist people who have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of storms or floods.

Apply for the Disaster Recovery Payment and Allowance through Services Australia at: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au or call 180 22 66.

Natural disaster relief loans assist voluntary non-profit organisations directly affected by a declared natural disaster including flood, fire or storm damage. Apply at: www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Natural disaster financial assistance is available to help sporting and recreation clubs directly affected by a declared natural disaster including flood, fire or storm damage. Apply at: www.raa.nsw.gov.au

“It’s really important for those who have been affected to reach out for help,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“This may be a government agency or it may be your neighbour over the fence. With fires, floods and drought each taking their toll in recent times, it’s really important for all of us to keep a watchful eye on our friends and neighbours who may need some help.

“While government financial assistance is vital for councils, farmers and business owners, so are acts of friendship.

“One positive to come from experiencing a concentrated number of natural disasters in recent times is that local, state and federal agencies are well versed in implementing fast and effective assistance.

“Following the declaration of a natural disaster in the Bega Valley Shire, we are able to quickly act on determining priority areas for funding assistance.

“As I speak, our Council teams are out in the field assessing damage to infrastructure and piecing together a roadmap forward in terms of applying for funding support where it is needed.

“As your council we will continue to make roads and infrastructure safe for use in the short-term, and start the longer journey to repairing assets damaged in the floods.”

Council is advocating for clean-up support and further business support. Council’s website will be updated as more information becomes available. 

For a list of local mental health support services go to www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au and search for Health and Wellbeing.