THE MURWILLUMBAH Flood Recovery Centre opened today at the Murwillumbah Community Centre on Nullum Street as government departments speak to and assist those impacted by the Tweed Flood.
The Recovery Centre will be open every day (until further notice) from 9am to 6pm and was officially opened at noon today (Thursday, April 6).
A media release from the NSW Government said the Recovery Centre will provide “a one stop shop for affected residents, businesses and farmers to access recovery assistance from a range of agencies and organisations”.
Agencies based at the Recovery Centres will include: Health, Disaster Welfare, Primary Industries, Insurance Agencies, Family and Community Services, Business Connect, Legal Aid, EPA, Centrelink, Red Cross and Safe Work NSW.
The below information can help individuals and business to assess their situation:
Disaster Relief Grants for Individuals:
The Department of Justice, Office of Emergency Management can provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household contents have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.
To be eligible for this assistance you must:
- be a low-income earner and meet an income assets test
- demonstrate that the affected home is your principal place of residence
- not be covered by insurance
- demonstrate that the damage was caused by the disaster
- lodge the application within four months of the disaster occurring
Applying for a disaster relief grant:
To apply for financial assistance call Disaster Welfare Services on 1800 018 444.
A Disaster Welfare Officer will assist you to assess your eligibility and provide you with an application form. This will include a home visit.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Assistance
The Australian Government has activated both the Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance for eligible disaster affected residents in the local government areas of Lismore and Tweed.
Further information on Australian Government assistance is available online at www.disasterassist.gov.au.
Or contact the Australian Government Emergency Information Line:
Telephone: 180 22 66.
Small Business Assistance
The NSW Government provides practical support to businesses affected by the recent storms and floods.
If you have been affected by the floods you don’t need to worry about your tax affairs right away. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will give you time to deal with your more immediate problems first and can help you to sort out your tax affairs later.
Depending on your circumstance, the following assistance may be available to you:
- more time to lodge, pay and respond
- early access to your money
- assistance payments
- help with damaged or destroyed property
- reconstructing your tax records
- fuel tax credits for individuals, businesses and others
Business Connect can provide you with two free independent and confidential business advice sessions. An advisor can meet you at a convenient place and discuss your business needs.
Advice is offered about managing cash flow, planning the next steps, accessing financial support schemes and connecting to additional support.
Call 1300 134 359 to speak to your local advisor or visit: www.industry.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect
Business Financial Support Packages
Loans of up to $130,000 are available at a concessional rate to small businesses affected by disasters which meet the eligibility criteria and are unable to obtain assistance through normal channels.
The NSW Rural Assistance Authority administers this program. Enquiries should be directed to 1800 678 593.
Small Business Survey
The Small Business Connect Office is conducting a survey of businesses affected by the floods. Businesses are encouraged to do our survey to help assess the impact for small businesses. www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthCoastFloodsBusinessSurvey
Assistance for Primary Producers
Loans and transport subsidies
The Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) Natural Disaster Relief Scheme assists primary producers (including commercial fishers and oyster growers), small business operators, non-profit organisations and sporting and recreational clubs affected by declared natural disasters. Assistance available includes: Disaster relief loans of up to $130,000 are available, subject to certain eligibility criteria, at a concessional interest rate for those in urgent need.
These loans may be used for essential working capital, replacement and repair of damage caused to the property and associated improvements not covered by insurance.
Transport subsidies of up to 50 per cent of the cost of transporting fodder and/or water to an affected property and stock to/from agistment are available. These rebates apply to primary producers in areas affected by the floods, subject to eligibility criteria. Maximum subsidy available is $15,000 per annum.. Submit all claim forms to the RAA with invoices, receipts and other documentation.
For more information contact: Rural Assistance Authority: 1800 678 593.
Local Land Services
For any lost or found stock, stranded livestock, emergency fodder, deceased stock or flood-related agricultural issues, contact:
Local Land Services on 1300 795 299
Health and Wellbeing
Having someone to listen and support you at times like this is important. Talking to family and trusted friends about your concerns can help.
Lifeline is available 24 hours on 13 11 14
You can also talk to your local GP or call the NSW Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 for information and referral information.
Support will also be available at the Recovery Centres.
Legal Aid NSW helps people with their legal problems. Legal Aid NSW lawyers can provide free legal advice and minor assistance to people affected by disasters on a range of issues including insurance, tenancy and credit and debt problems.
You can call LawAccess NSW in the first instance to discuss any legal problems and what assistance may be available from Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres and other free legal assistance services in your area.
Law Access NSW: 1300 888 529
Motor Vehicle Assistance
Motorists whose cars have been written off as a result of a natural disaster may be eligible for a stamp duty refund on their replacement vehicle.
Contact the Office of State Revenue www.osr.nsw.gov.au or
State Revenue: 1300 139 814
Services NSW will replace certificates and drivers licences at no cost to those affected by the floods.
Services NSW: 137 788