Thursday, 14 February 2019
RESIDENTS, farmers and communities impacted by the out-of-control Tingha Plateau fire will be able to immediately access disaster assistance, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.
Mr Marshall welcomed the speedy natural disaster declaration by the State and Commonwealth Governments within the Armidale Regional and Inverell local government areas, over an area of more than 12,000 hectares, where the fire has raged since the weekend.
He said the declaration and assistance would also cover those who are impacted in coming days as the fire continues to burn.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
“The fire has been absolutely devastating, but it’s a comfort to many that a range of assistance is now available to help people who have been affected by the bushfires as well as funding for operational response activities,” Mr Marshall said.
“The fire has been fuelled by strong winds and burnt through thousands of hectares of land, threatening life and causing major disruptions to nearby communities.
“I’m pleased the NSW and Commonwealth governments are working closely together to provide immediate relief to those impacted in the last few days and support the longer term recovery of our local communities.”
Mr Marshall said significant firefighting operations were continuing in response to the bushfire to try to bring it under control.
“Our firies have again been doing a tremendous job, working non-stop to protect lives and properties,” he said. “This is one of largest firefighting efforts our region has seen in recent memory and everyone is pitching in – I cannot praise them enough!
“The NSW Rural Fire Service has battled blazes during incredibly challenging weather conditions and deployed hundreds of firefighters, appliances and aircraft to combat the fires, and I know everyone is incredibly grateful for those efforts.
“Our thoughts too are with the families and businesses who’ve lost properties. It’s a devastating experience and my hope is that this assistance will ease some of the immediate burden they’re facing on the road to recovery.”
Assistance measures available include:
- 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 eligible non-profit organisations.
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 at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au
MEDIA: Adam Marshall 0429 440 054