Australian Government Assistance for New South Wales Storms and Flooding

Media Release

WT116/2015

24 April 2015

Joint release with:

The Hon Michael Keenan MP

Minister for Justice

Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Minister for Human Services

The Australian Government today announced that additional disaster assistance—the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance—will be provided to eligible residents affected by the New South Wales storms and flooding.

People eligible for the Disaster Recovery Payment—those who have lost a family member, had major damage to their homes or suffered injury as a result of the disaster—can access a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 for each child.

Additionally, under the Disaster Recovery Allowance people who have lost income as a result of the disaster may be able to access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of the Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance. This assistance is designed to help employees, primary producers and sole traders impacted by this disaster to get back on their feet.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss announced the funding today in Raymond Terrace.

“The Australian Government assistance announced today is over and above the comprehensive support already being provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, announced on Wednesday,” Mr Truss said.

Mr Keenan, who toured flood-affected areas with New South Wales Premier Mike Baird yesterday, said the Australian Government was standing side by side with communities suffering from the storm damage and flood surge.

“The severe weather events of the last few days have had a devastating impact on local communities and it is important that assistance is provided to support their recovery,” Mr Keenan said.

Minister Payne said making these payments available today will ensure those people who have been severely affected have the assistance they need as soon as possible.

“The Government recognises the importance of maintaining the workforce in the disaster affected areas to support longer term local and regional economic and community recovery,” Minister Payne said.

Claims can be made online at www.humanservices.gov.au or by calling the Australian Government Information Hotline on 180 22 66 from 8am to 8pm local time, seven days per week.

Completed claim forms can also be lodged in person at an Australian Government Department of Human Services service centre.

Further information on Australian Government assistance is available online at www.disasterassist.gov.au.