Support for victims of Kempsey fire

NATIONALS Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker welcomed today’s announcement of disaster assistance for affected areas on the Mid North Coast following the weekend’s bushfires.

“On Sunday the fires around Kempsey and Port Macquarie spread quickly with little warning,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The funding announced today will ensure affected individuals, families, and Kempsey and Mid North Coast councils have the resources and support they need to recover from the impacts of the bushfires as quickly as possible.

“In our area the fires have caused significant damage to family properties – at the Pappinbarra Fire (Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA) there were four homes destroyed, three homes damaged and seven outbuildings destroyed. At the Spring Hill Road Dondingalong Fire (Kempsey LGA) there were two homes destroyed (one habitable), and seven outbuildings destroyed.

“The swift and sudden nature of this event has left residents understandably distressed and wondering what to do next – this funding will go some way to help ease some of their suffering.

“It will also help Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings councils with the huge task of cleaning up after the fire and repairing effected infrastructure,” he said.

The seven local government areas receiving the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) assistance in response to the bushfires include: Kempsey, Mid Coast, Mid-Western Regional, Narrabri, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Upper Hunter, and Warrumbungle.

This assistance includes:

Help for 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;

Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations;

Freight subsidies for primary producers; and

Grants to non-profit organisations.

“The Australian Government stands ready to assist affected local communities get back on their feet, that’s why we have acted quickly to make sure funds get to affected families quickly. I am very pleased this funding has been activated so quickly,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018-444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678-593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.au and the New South Wales emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.

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