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Further assistance for Blue Mountains residents affected by bushfires



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Media release: Further assistance for Blue Mountains residents affected by bushfires

22 October 2013

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Human Services

As of today, Blue Mountains residents who have been severely affected by

the bushfires can now claim the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) for

income lost due to the fires.

Visiting the area again today with Member for Macquarie Louise Markus MP,

Senator Payne encouraged people directly affected by the bushfires in the

area to approach Centrelink for support as soon as possible.

"I have a real understanding of what the Blue Mountains community is

going through at the moment, having seen first-hand the damage the

bushfires have caused across the area," Senator Payne said.

"The bushfires have had a devastating effect on the local community and

will prevent many employees, primary producers and sole traders from

earning an income.

"This payment provides support to Blue Mountains residents whose income

has been directly affected by the bushfires and is also designed to assist

with the longer term recovery process."

The DRA provides payments for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum

rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance, for eligible Australian

residents.This is the first disaster event serviced by this newly legislated

payment since it commenced in October.

Senator Payne said Department of Human Services staff are assisting

people to lodge claims for both this Allowance and the Disaster Recovery

Payment in service centres across the Blue Mountains and at the

Springwood Recovery Centre.

Minister for Human Services

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Residents in Lake Macquarie, Lithgow, Muswellbrook, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Wyong and Wingecarribee can also claim the DRA

for income lost due to the fires.

Further information is available at humanservices.gov.au/disaster or by

calling 180 22 66 from 8am to 8pm local time, seven days a week.

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