The federal and state governments have announced a $48.25 million North Coast, Mid-North Coast and Northern Tableland bushfire recovery package which includes $18.25 million for Community Recovery Fund for community projects and mental health recovery and grants of up to $15,000 for farmers and small businesses affected by the fires.
I've met with people affected by these fires which are still burning in our region and I have been making representations on their behalf to the various government agencies and insurance companies to ensure they receive the support they need.
Disaster Recovery Payments will also provide $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children. And for those who have lost their income as a direct result of the bushfires, the Commonwealth government will provide those eligible up to 13 weeks income support via the Disaster Recovery Allowance. Payments are available now and eligibility can be checked at humanservices.gov.au/disaster or by calling 1802266.
The $15,000 grants will help businesses affected by bushfires to open and get people back to work sooner. When money flows around a community it can help to speed up the whole recovery.
The $18.25 million Community Recovery Fund has also been set up for targeted community project grants and mental health support. The mental toll on the community, volunteers and emergency service staff can linger long after the fires and they will need ongoing support.
In addition the targeted grants will be available for projects that help with the recovery and improve disaster resilience. The extent of the impact to our farming and business sectors has not been fully quantified as these bushfires continue to burn.
A further $4.05 million has been committed as part of the package to mental health services. Assistance is being provided through the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery funding arrangements.
To apply for a recovery grant, primary producers and small businesses should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit raa.nsw.gov.au.