Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

Media release: Additional Commonwealth financial assistance made available for flood victims in Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed

17 March 2022

Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education

Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Minister for Government Services

More support is now available for families, farms and businesses affected by the catastrophic flooding disaster in northern NSW as part of an additional package of support from the Commonwealth Government.

The National Recovery and Resilience Agency (NRRA) and Emergency Management Australia have further assessed the flood extent area, the proportion of the populations affected, the latest residential impact assessments and the proportion of population seeking assistance for Disaster Recovery Payments to declare the Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed Local Government Areas (LGAs) impacted areas in need of additional support. 

This next phase of support includes:

  • An additional two weekly disaster payments - known as Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) Special Supplement - for affected residents in Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed will be automatically paid to those who have already claimed and received the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, at the current rate of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child. These payments will be made from 22 March.

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the NRRA has undertaken assessments of the affected areas and as a result the government had agreed to extend the AGDRP in the Northern Rivers Region.

“As the full scale and impact to these areas in northern NSW is being realised, the Liberal and Nationals Government is implementing this extra support as quickly as possible,” Minister McKenzie said. 

“While people in northern NSW aren’t able to work, are still clearing out their homes and businesses, the extra two $1,000 payments we’re rolling out to eligible families and individuals will support our communities as they start to rebuild their lives.

“The additional two $1,000 payments for adults and $400 for children will automatically apply for AGDRP recipients in the Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed LGAs, so there is no need for people to re-apply,” Minister McKenzie said.

Minister for Government Services Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the additional $1,000 disaster payments would take immediate pressure off many families and allow them to focus on recovering from this major disaster event.

“The catastrophic scale and impact of what we’re seeing in this region of northern NSW is exactly why this extra support is needed,” Minister Reynolds said.

“Eligible adults in seven Northern Rivers LGAs will receive a total payment of $3000 each, plus a total of $1,200 for each child. I’d encourage anyone who has not yet applied for the disaster payment to do so as soon as possible.

“Services Australia has already delivered more than $862 million in Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) for 784,000 Claims to over one million flood affected people.”

The easiest and quickest way to claim the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance is online through myGov. Online claiming is available 24/7.

If people require support to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66, open Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm local time and this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm local time.

The latest round of support is in addition to the almost $1 billion package announced by the Morrison and Perrottet Governments, including:

  • Demand driven - $75,000 grants to assist primary producers that have suffered direct damage from the recent severe weather and flooding. NSW Government estimate this to initially be $111.5 million;
  • Demand driven - $50,000 grants to assist small business and not-for-profit organisations that have suffered direct damage from the event. NSW Government estimate this to initially be $89.7 million;
  • $300 million to assist affected communities with the clean-up and removal of flood and storm related damage, debris and green waste. This will enable LGAs to work with Resilience NSW and NSW Government agencies to coordinate clean-up activities in their communities;
  • $1 million grants to impacted councils to assist with their immediate social, built, economic and environmental needs;
  • $6.5 million to provide Community Recovery Officers to support communities impacted by this event; and
  • $285 million Temporary Housing Support package.

[ENDS]

Page last updated: 17 March 2022