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Locals urged to apply for flood assistance



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Hon Robert McClelland MP Attorney-General

Janelle Saffin MP Member for Page

MEDIA RELEASE

Wednesday, 19th January 2011

Locals Urged to Apply for Flood Assistance

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Member for Page Janelle Saffin today encouraged people affected by recent flooding in the Northern NSW to apply for Commonwealth disaster assistance.

Mr McClelland today visited Lismore and Casino in the State’s north to thank local emergency services workers and meet business owners impacted by the floods.

“There are large parts of Australia currently experiencing serious levels of flooding,” Mr McClelland said.

“While the devastation wrecked by the floodwaters is obvious north of the border, there are a number of communities in Northern NSW doing it tough as a result of heavy rainfall and the on-flow of floodwaters from Queensland.

“On the weekend, the Prime Minister visited Grafton to announced additional disaster assistance for flood-affected communities.”

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) is now available to people who have been affected by the floods in the Northern Region of NSW and the Clarence Valley LGA.

The AGDRP is a one-off payment of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child to help them recover.

“This is above and beyond the range of Commonwealth disaster assistance already available through Centrelink and the NSW Government for people right across NSW affected by the floods,” Mr McClelland said

“I’d strongly encourage people who have been affected by flooding to apply for support.”

Ms Saffin said while conditions have eased over recent days, communities in Northern New South Wales are still feeling the flow-on effects of severe flooding in South-East Queensland.

“A number of communities are in recovery mode now but there are also communities who are experiencing flooding,” she said.

“The flooding in these communities have forced of thousands of people from their homes although I’m pleased many residents have been able to return home in recent days.

Mr McClelland said the Government is providing significant assistance to flood-affected areas across Australia.

In addition to the AGDRP for disaster declared communities in the Northern Region of NSW and the Clarence Valley LGA, the Australian Government is also providing support to all 63 Local Government Areas in NSW that have been declared natural disaster zones.

This includes the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy - a payment for employees, small business owners and farmers whose ability to work has been affected by the flooding.

Other joint Commonwealth/NSW Government assistance is also being provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), including grants of up to $15,000 for small businesses and primary producers affected by flooding.

Information about the AGDRP or Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy can be obtained by phoning the Australian Government’s Emergency Assistance Line on 180 2266 between 8am to 8pm local time, seven days a week. People can also visit their local Centrelink office or log onto www.centrelink.gov.au.

For further information about grants for small business or primary producers, call the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

The Australian Government Disaster Assist website has been set up by the Australian Government to give individuals and families better access to information about recovery assistance following a disaster. - http://www.disasterassist.gov.au

Contact: Ryan Liddell (McClelland) 0427 225 763

Lee Duncan (Saffin) 0448 158 150