Media release: Commonwealth financial help available for more flood victims in New South Wales and Queensland
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC
Fourteen more Local Government Areas in New South Wales and Queensland impacted by the flooding disaster will have access to Commonwealth financial assistance from today. The expansion comes as the assistance reaches the milestone of more than 1.5 million Australians through this disaster since the 1st of March.
The Morrison Government has activated the Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) in 14 additional Local Government Areas (LGAs) New South Wales: Cessnock, Cumberland, Dungog, Goulburn Mulwaree, Lithgow, Maitland, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Port Stephens, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Singleton, Snowy Monaro and Upper Hunter. Balonne in Queensland will also receive the AGDPR.
AGDRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child, and is available to eligible people in those affected LGAs who have suffered a significant loss, such as a severely damaged or destroyed home or a serious injury.
Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) has also been extended to these 14 LGAs.
DRA assists employees and sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster and is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks and is taxable.
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the Liberal and Nationals Government has been swift to make financial help available where it is needed.
“As the full scale of the devastating impact to these areas in New South Wales and Queensland is being realised, our hearts go out to those people whose lives have been devastated,” Minister McKenzie said.
“We continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our affected communities and have made financial assistance available now because we know the economic impact of disasters like these will be felt long after the flood water recedes.
“There are still very tough days, weeks and months ahead for thousands of people and the recovery process will take time, and we want our communities to have the support they need so they can get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Minister McKenzie said.
Minister for Government Services, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said Services Australia has paid over $1.4 billion in AGDRP and DRA to more than 1.5 million people impacted by the New South Wales and Queensland floods.
“The Morrison-Joyce Government has acted swiftly to deliver record support, and Services Australia staff have been processing claims as quickly as possible to assist disaster-impacted communities,” Minister Reynolds said.
“I encourage residents impacted by the floods to check their eligibility for the AGDRP and DRA on the Services Australia website, before lodging a claim for assistance.
“The easiest and quickest way to claim AGDRP and DRA is online through myGov. If people require support to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66.
“To provide further support, we are also pausing Centrelink debt raising and new debt recovery in the affected locations.”
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the floods.
Online claiming via myGov is available 24x7. The Australian Government Emergency Information Line is open local time 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday.
For more information on support available, visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster