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Cyclone Larry: Business Assistance Fund.



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Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

9 May 2006

CYCLONE LARRY - BUSINESS ASSISTANCE FUND In response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry on 20 March 2006, the Australian Government immediately announced a package of support measures to assist cyclone victims rebuild their lives and their businesses.

The measures include the Cyclone Larry Business Assistance Fund which provides one-off tax-free grants of $10,000 or $25,000, depending on the extent of losses to businesses and farmers adversely affected by the cyclone.

The much needed funding is helping business operators and farmers to recover, with funding used for restocking, replanting, re-establishment and clean-up operations.

By the end of April, just under $56 million had been provided under the Business Assistance Fund to assist about 4300 farmers and businesses affected by the cyclone.

“The Australian Government is committed to helping the thousands of affected businesses recover, which is why we established the Cyclone Larry Business Assistance Fund,” Fran Bailey, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, said today.

“This assistance is helping business operators and farmers get back on their feet as quickly as possible, which in turn will help the entire community recover.”

Businesses have until 30 June 2006 to apply for funding to assist their recovery. The Business Assistance Fund is being administered by Centrelink.

In addition, the Australian Government has deployed an additional six Small Business Field Officers on short term deployments and one long term Officer to provide on the ground information and support for small business.

More information about the assistance measures for business and other available assistance can be obtained by telephone on 1802 002, from www.centrelink.gov.au or the Australian Government Disaster Assistance website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

Media contact: Kevin Lowe, (02) 6277 7450 or 0408 404468.

Supporting Information

Why is this important? z The Cyclone Larry Business Assistance Fund is directed at business continuity and economic recovery in the regions affecte by Cyclone Larry. z It will assist business owners who have been adversely affected

by Cyclone Larry, to rebuild their businesses. z The initiative is part of a package of Australian Government

support measures announced by the Prime Minister in response to the devastation caused by Cyclone Larry on 20 March 2006.

Who will benefit? z Businesses in the cyclone affected area which suffered damages, losses or costs as a result of Cyclone Larry will benefit from this initiative. z The fund provides one-off tax-free grants of $10,000 or $25,000

depending on the extent of costs or losses, for farmers and existing businesses adversely affected by the cyclone.

What funding is the Government committing to the initiative?

z The funding of this programme will be demand driven.

What have we done in the past? z This initiative is part of a broader package of Australian Government response measures specific to Cyclone Larry.

When will the initiative conclude? z Claims for grants under the Cyclone Larry Business Assistance Fund must be lodged by 30 June 2006. Payments will be made

during 2006-07.