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Disaster assistance for flood-affected Tasmania



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UNCLASSIFIED

The Hon Michael Keenan MP Minister for Justice

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter Terrorism

The Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP Deputy Premier of Tasmania

MEDIA RELEASE

11 March 2017

Disaster assistance for flood-affected Tasmania

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and Tasmanian Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff today announced an additional $2.15 million in disaster funding to restore areas of the Mersey-Dasher river system, which was badly damaged by major floods in June 2016.

Minister Keenan said the assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“Last year’s severe storms and floods caused widespread damage to many parts of Tasmania, including sites of extensive damage in and around the Mersey River,” Mr Keenan said.

“This additional assistance demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to help progress Tasmania’s recovery from the far-reaching impact of the floods on Tasmania’s natural resources and affected businesses.”

Deputy Premier Rockliff said the Tasmanian Government is committed to restoring the most heavily impacted sections of this critical watercourse, reducing the risk of damage to public infrastructure in future flood events, and advancing recovery for local communities, businesses and the state as a whole.

“Importantly, today’s announcement has a focus on reducing the impact of future flood events and building the resilience of the Mersey-Dasher river system,” Mr Rockliff said.

“This welcome addition to existing Tasmanian Government funded river recovery programs, such as the Agricultural Landscape Rehabilitation Scheme, will ensure river systems including the Mersey have the best chances of recovery and future resilience.”

These measures build on the assistance already provided by the Commonwealth and State governments which includes:

 personal hardship and distress assistance to eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged  support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets  grants of up to $10,000 for primary producers in nine LGAs - Break O’Day, Central

Coast, Central Highlands, Kentish, Launceston, Latrobe, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands and Waratah-Wynyard - to assist with clean-up and restoration activities  freight subsidies of up to $15,000 per annum for primary producers  concessional interest rate loans of up to $200,000 for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations  grants to not-for-profit organisations  funding to help restore parks and reserves, provide access to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, and to stabilise the Beaconsfield Hart Shaft. The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance was also activated to provide income assistance to eligible employees, small businesses and primary producers.

Further information on disaster assistance is available at disasterassist.gov.au and www.alert.tas.gov.au/floodrecovery.

Media contacts: Danielle McKay 0438 390 273 or Shannen Wilkinson 0476 820 816 (Minister Keenan) Brad Nowland - 0439 614 893 (Deputy Premier Rockliff)