The NSW government has rolled out new disaster relief payments as it looks to provide further financial support to residents recovering from the series of floods that wreaked havoc in the Central Coast region throughout June and July.
According to the state government, a $23 million relief fund will now be accessible through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), which is intended to offer grants for rural landowners and rental support payments for flood victims in the affected areas.
As part of the latest financial aid package, rental support payments will be provided for up to 16 weeks to help flood-battered households secure safe accommodation during the recovery process.
Meanwhile, the Rural Landholder Grants program will provide up to $25,000 to help with immediate clean-up and repair costs for many rural landholders.
It will also allow rural landholders who are ineligible for existing grants to access financial assistance from the government.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt stated that the funding package would be available to residents in all 42 local government areas (LGAs) that were put under a natural disaster declaration.
The assistance will be available in the local government areas of Bayside, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Canterbury Bankstown, Campbelltown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Cumberland, Dungog, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kempsey, Kiama, Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Liverpool, Maitland, Mid Coast, Muswellbrook, Nambucca, Narromine, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Oberon, Penrith, Port Macquarie Hastings, Port Stephens, Randwick, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Strathfield, Sutherland, The Hills, Upper Lachlan, Warren, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Wollongong.
Mr Watt highlighted that the latest raft of relief payments would be vital for people who are just getting back on their feet in the wake of the natural disaster.
“The rental support payments and rural landholder grants will help with the immediate costs of clean-up and repair, which is an important first step in the recovery process,” Mr Watt said.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the funding would flow through Service NSW and the Rural Assistance Authority.
“The rental support payments covering up to 16 weeks rent will help people find safe, secure accommodation while they begin the recovery process, and the $25,000 grants will help kick-start the clean-up for the many rural landholders who’ve been affected by flooding yet again,” Ms Cooke stated.
The funding would be made in addition to the joint state and commonwealth support measures that were already in place, including the $1,000 grant allocated for residents in 23 local government areas announced on 6 July.