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Natural disasters declared following flooding across Northern NSW



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PRIME MINISTER

PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES

NATURAL DISASTERS DECLARED FOLLOWING FLOODING ACROSS NORTHERN NSW

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell have today announced ten Local Government Areas will have access to jointly-funded national disaster assistance following extensive flooding.

Natural disaster assistance is available to affected residents, small business owners and primary producers in the following LGAs:

• Ballina Shire

• Bellingen Shire

• Byron Shire

• Clarence Valley

• Coffs Harbour City • Kyogle

• Lismore City

• Nambucca Shire • Richmond Valley • Tweed Shire

The deluge right across northern NSW has resulted in extreme flooding in a number of areas.

The NSW State Emergency Service has been inundated with calls for assistance with the heavy rain, strong winds and flash flooding bringing down power lines and trees and ripping roofs off homes.

Just two weeks ago we were in the midst of a bush fire emergency gripping large parts of the state and now we are inundated with rain and flooding.

The declaration triggers a number of disaster assistance schemes to assist with the cost of disaster relief and recovery.

These disaster assistance schemes are made available by the NSW Government through the NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements and they are jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

These measures will help families, business owners and primary producers to restore any damage caused by the floods and ease some of the associated burden.

As ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald continues to track south, more communities are being affected by damaging winds, heavy rainfall and flooding.

Further areas could be declared in the coming days as the clean-up effort continues.

Australian Government agencies are working hand-in-hand with local emergency services to ensure that people receive the assistance they need during these difficult times.

Anyone needing help from the SES should contact their local unit on 132 500. In a life threatening emergency, always ring Triple Zero (000).

For more information about disaster assistance go to www.emergency.nsw.gov.au

CANBERRA 29 JANUARY 2012

PRESS OFFICE (02) 6277 7744 PREMIER’S OFFICE (02) 9228 5239