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Commonwealth provides funding help for NSW floods.



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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Wilson Tuckey MP Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

03 March 2003 WT19/2003

COMMONWEALTH PROVIDES FUNDING HELP FOR NSW FLOODS

The Commonwealth Government will make funds available as part of relief arrangements for the current floods in parts of northern New South Wales, the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Wilson Tuckey, announced today.

Funds will be provided under the Commonwealth/State Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements (NDRA).

The areas that have been disaster-declared as a result of floods are Bingara, Mudgee, Manilla, Barraba, Narrabri, Uralla, Moree Plains, Parry and Tamworth City. More areas may be disaster-declared as information becomes available.

"States and Territories have primary responsibility for disaster relief, however the Commonwealth recognises that all natural disasters impact heavily on communities in terms of human and financial costs," Mr Tuckey said.

"The NDRA ensures that States and Territories are partly reimbursed for natural disaster relief, once their expenditures on eligible measures exceed a certain threshold."

Mr Tuckey said four types of relief measures were eligible for reimbursement by the Commonwealth:

● Personal hardship and distress payments (grants) - for people needing emergency

food, clothing and accommodation, or people undertaking essential housing repairs or replacing essential household goods. These payments were means-tested. ● Concessional interest rate loans/grants - for farmers, small businesses and voluntary

organisations needing to replace damaged assets. ● Payments to replace essential public assets, and

● Payments for financial and psychological counselling for people affected by disasters.

"It's certainly ironic that these previously drought-stricken communities are now threatened by floods, but it doesn't alter the fact that their present circumstances still warrant the description 'disaster'," Mr Tuckey said.

"We will do everything we can to assist these communities."

Media Contacts

Graeme Hallett ( Minister Tuckey's Office ) 0419 688 440