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Disaster assistance announced for bushfire affected communities in New South Wales



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www.pm.gov.au

JOINT PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MP, PRIME MINISTER THE HON. BARRY O’FARRELL MP, PREMIER OF NEW SOUTH WALES

DISASTER ASSISTANCE ANNOUNCED FOR BUSHFIRE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES IN NEW SOUTH WALES

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell today announced disaster assistance is being made available to communities affected by the bushfires currently burning in the eastern and north coast regions of New South Wales.

The range of assistance measures available include:  Personal hardship and distress assistance for families and individuals affected by the bushfires, such as emergency food, clothing and accommodation.  Concessional loans for small business, primary producers and not-for-profit bodies, freight subsidies

for primary producers and grants for voluntary not-for-profit bodies that have suffered physical damage are also available.  Financial assistance for local and state government authorities is also available to assist with the restoration of damaged infrastructure and the provision of counter disaster operations.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of New South Wales who are suffering at this time. Individuals and families, farmers, small business owners and councils affected by the devastating bushfires can rest assured that assistance is available to help them recover and get back on their feet as soon as possible.

Disaster assistance is now available in the following local government areas through the New South Wales Disaster Assistance Arrangements and is jointly funded with the Commonwealth under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Eastern NSW Bushfires (from 16 October 2013)

Blue Mountains Eurobodalla Lake Macquarie Lithgow Shoalhaven Wingecarribee Wollondilly Wollongong Wyong

www.pm.gov.au

Eastern NSW Bushfires (from 13 October 2013)

Cessnock Dungog Hawkesbury Muswellbrook Newcastle Port Stephens Singleton The Hills

North Coast NSW Bushfires (from 9 October 2013)

Clarence Valley Coffs Harbour

A very high level of threat still continues for many communities around NSW and emergency services and support agencies are working around the clock to contain these threats.

While the extreme weather has eased, the threat for many communities is not yet over.

Further local government areas may be declared in coming days as the bushfires continue to affect New South Wales and as assessments are completed.

The Commonwealth and New South Wales governments are committed to supporting bushfire affected communities and ensuring that the necessary assistance is being made available as events unfold.

Information about the range of assistance measures available can be found at http://www.mpes.nsw.gov.au/nddassistance or on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au

19 October 2013