20 July, 2024
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RECOVERY SUPPORT FOR FIRE-AFFECTED COMMUNITY

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Disaster assistance is now available in the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA) following impacts of fires from 14 December 2023.

The assistance measures are being provided by the Albanese and Minns Governments through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Support includes:

  • Assistance for eligible residents to help meet immediate needs like emergency accommodation or small cash payments to purchase essential items generally provided from evacuation or recovery centres.
  • Grants for eligible residents to replace lost essential household items to maintain basic standard of living.
  • Grants for eligible residents to undertake essential structural repairs to restore their homes to a safe and habitable condition.
  • 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, sporting and recreation clubs, and non-profit organisations to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property.
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers to help transport livestock and fodder.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the fires took hold quickly and caused significant damage in the region.

“This fire event has caused damage across communities, impacting homes, businesses and volunteer groups,” Minister Watt said.

“I want to thank those who have worked hard to start the clean-up efforts so quickly and I want to assure those whose lives have been disrupted that we will support them through their recovery.

“I understand the damage and full impact of this disaster is still being assessed, and we stand ready to respond to any requests for additional assistance.”

NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said he visited the area on Friday and saw first-hand the impacts of the fire which moved quickly and came within metres of many homes and Kurri Kurri Hospital. He praised the efforts of firefighters who prevented more damage from occurring.

“This fast-moving fire has caused significant damage across the community, sadly impacting homes and businesses at a difficult time of year,” Minister Dib said.

“Disaster declarations like these are a crucial step in unlocking assistance for those in need.”

“I would like to thank the volunteers and other fire agencies who worked tirelessly protecting properties, if it wasn’t for their efforts the damage could have been far worse impacting many more homes and important community facilities.”

For information relating to financial assistance, replacing lost documents, the location of your nearest recovery centre and more, please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit www.nsw.gov.au.

To apply for a concessional loan or primary producer grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Further information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.

SENATOR THE HON MURRAY WATT

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FORESTRY

MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

THE HON JIHAD DIB MP

MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

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