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Australian government extends recovery assistance to Wollondilly



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UNCLASSIFIED

Mr Michael Keenan MP Minister for Justice MEDIA RELEASE

25 October 2013

Australian government extends recovery assistance to Wollondilly

The Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, today announced that the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the newly legislated Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) have been extended to people severely affected by the bushfires in the Local Government Area (LGA) of Wollondilly.

“The bushfires have had a devastating impact on the affected communities and this recovery assistance will provide much needed help to the people of Wollondilly,” Minister Keenan said.

This recovery assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand ‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa holders (subclass 444).

Persons eligible for AGDRP and equivalent New Zealand ex-gratia payments can claim payments of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 each child. The payment is available to those who have been seriously injured, are the immediate family members of a person who has been killed, have lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged in the bushfires.

The income support allowance and equivalent New Zealand ex-gratia support are available to eligible people who have suffered a loss of income as a direct result of the NSW bushfires in the disaster-declared areas. It will be available to employees, primary producers, and sole traders with a demonstrated loss of income as a direct result of the disaster. The assistance will provide a fortnightly payment equivalent to the maximum rate of the Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance for up to 13 weeks. Eligible people have six months to lodge a claim for this payment.

This Australian Government Assistance is in addition to the relief and support already being provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, which is jointly funded with the New South Wales State Government.

The easiest way to lodge a claim is by calling 180 22 66 from 8am to 8pm local time, including weekends. Claim forms are available at humanservices.gov.au/disaster.

Further information on Australian Government assistance is available online at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

Media contact: Hannah Weir 0417 862 688