Category C listing opens Murwillumbah grants – what you need to know

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UPDATE 3PM

Member for Tweed Geoff Provest MP is hopeful other Tweed communities including  Tumbulgum and Chinderah, Burringbar and Mooball will be eligible for Category C disaster funding after it was announced for Murwillumbah, South Murwillumbah, Bray Park and Condong earlier this morning.

The Category C disaster funding includes standard grants of up to $15,000 for small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Provest is urging all businesses affected to complete a survey on how they were affected by the floods to help access the much needed funds http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthCoastFloodsBusinessSurvey.

Meanwhile Member for Lismore Thomas George MP visited Murwillumbah earlier today and said he is relieved that additional disaster recovery assistance is available for small businesses severely affected by the North Coast floods.

Councillor Pryce Allsop and Member for Lismore Thomas George MP

Mr George said he is working on a solution for primary producers and big business (more than 21 staff) who currently will not receive the disaster funding.

“Today’s additional assistance will ensure eligible small businesses and non-profit organisations can access grants of up to $15,000 to assist with their clean-up and recovery costs,” Mr George said.

“We know that small businesses are the life blood of regional communities in particular, so it’s vital that we give them a helping hand to get back on their feet.”

The assistance is available to eligible small businesses and non-profit organisations in impacted parts of Murwillumbah.

“Assessments have been carried out rapidly to ensure those who have lost so much have the support they need to rebuild their livelihoods,” Mr George said.

“Small business owners are often the first to lend a helping hand when a community is doing it tough, and today we are supporting them on their journey to recovery.”

Mr George acknowledged the hard work and efforts of Recovery Coordinator Euan Ferguson, Tweed Shire Council, Murwillumbah District Business Chamber and local businesses for providing the vital information needed to make this application successful.

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne has also welcomed the approval of ‘Category C’ support.

Other Tweed Shire areas including affected rural villages and outlying businesses are being considered under a separate application with more information soon to come.

To assist with the assessment process, businesses in Tumbulgum, Uki, Chinderah, Mooball and Burringbar are encouraged to provide information on how they’ve been affected via:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthCoastFloodsBusinessSurvey.

Councillor Milne says the Category C support is vital for small businesses hit so hard by the disaster.

“This is really fantastic news; the floods and the clean-up have taken such an emotional and physical toll on everyone involved,” she said.

“The damage, clean-up and recovery costs have been significant, these grants will help, but it’s so important at this time that we continue to shop local and get behind these businesses that have lost so much.”

To apply for a recovery grant, small businesses in the local government areas above can contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or by visiting http://raa.nsw.gov.au.

Further information on disaster assistance is available at http://disasterassist.gov.au and http://emergency.nsw.gov.au.

What is covered?

  • Cost of clean-up and restoration costs
  • Cost of relocation to temporary premises where immediate re-opening of damaged premises are not possible
  • Damage to plant/equipment
  • Replacement of damaged/spoiled stock

What is NOT covered?

  • Damage to dwellings
  • Damages covered by insurance
  • Cost of using your own labour, your existing staff or your own equipment
  • Loss of income/trade
  • All capital items purchased after the flood

9AM

A CATEGORY C listing for Murwillumbah and Lismore was approved overnight and will open the door to grant funding of up to $15,000 to provide small businesses and not-for-profits a much needed boost.

The grants include Condong, South Murwillumbah, Murwillumbah and Bray Park. Other Tweed Shire areas affected including Tumbulgum is under a separate application with more information to follow.

Local politicians were expected to make the announcement to the media today, however the news was instead broken by Minister for Emergency Services (Member for Dubbo) Troy Grant MP via Twitter.

A Category C assistance application was made by the State Government and requires agreement from the Prime Minister, however due to Malcolm Turnbull’s absence Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce instead rubber stamped the listing.

According to the official definition, Category C measures are intended as a ‘helping hand’ to aid the recovery of communities, regions and sectors – “they are not intended to provide an economic stimulus”. Category C assistance is only made available when the impact of a disaster is severe.

The announced Category C assistance includes recovery grants for small businesses and non-profit organisations and are designed to assist with the costs of clean-up and reinstatement of businesses that have suffered direct damage as a result of an eligible disaster.

Eligible businesses

  • Those that are bona-fide businesses who intend to re-establish in the affected area and have suffered direct and significant loss or damage and the essential cost of clean-up and/or reinstatement must be the applicant’s responsibility.

Grant applicants are only entitled to one grant per event even if more than one grant is available.

Businesses

  • In determining the severity of impact on the region, community or sector, the state must demonstrate, at a minimum, the following impacts for the Australian Government to agree to cost share recovery grants for small businesses.

Eligible expenditure

  • Only uninsured loss or damage qualifies for relief.
  • Eligible expenditure for recovery grants includes.
  • Equipment and materials to undertake clean-up.
  • Additional labour costs (above and beyond normal wage expenditure) removal of debris carting away damaged goods and material and cost of disposal restoration.
  • Payment for trades people to conduct safety inspections
  • Essential repairs to premises and internal fittings (e.g. floor covering, electrical rewiring, shelving)
  • Purchase or hire/lease costs for equipment essential to the immediate resumption of operations
  • Leasing of temporary premises
  • Replacement of stock which is essential to the immediate resumption of operations.

What is not covered

  • Damage to dwellings. Owners may be able to claim other assistance for this (e.g. personal hardship and distress payments under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements by contacting Department of Community Service on 1800 018 444).
  • Damage covered by insurance
  • Your own labour costs
  • All capital purchases

To access grant funds

  • You must lodge an application with the Authority on or before OCTOBER 13, 2017.
  • You will need to provide tax invoices or receipts dated after the flood event for damages incurred. NOTE: Payment of any assistance can only occur upon production of tax invoice or receipt for damages incurred which must be received by the Authority by OCTOBER 13, 2017.
  • Provide complete copies of your latest Business Tax Returns and Financial Statements PLUS Personal Tax Returns for each member of the business enterprise.  Your business must be located within an eligible Local Government Area (Contact the Authority for details of declared Local Government Areas)