By Julian Leeser
Federal Member for Berowra, Julian Leeser MP, brought David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, and Emergency Management Australia Director General Joe Buffone to Wisemans Ferry to see the impact the recent floods had on the community.
“It was sobering showing Minister David Littleproud MP and Emergency Management Australia Director General Joe Buffone the devastation the floods have caused the river communities in my electorate.”
Mr Leeser facilitated a community meeting to hear about some of the challenges the community was facing in the clean up and to discuss what additional assistance could be provided to locals and volunteers on the ground. Commitments were made to get back to constituents on a range of issues including skip bins and recovery grants for affected river communities.
Since the meeting, Mr Leeser’s office has been in contact with Hornsby Shire and The Hills Shire Councils to pass on the community’s feedback about concerns over delays and the costs associated with accessing skip bins.
“It was important for us to meet with the community to gain a better understanding of the issues the floods have caused, and how we could address these issues.”
The Australian Defence Force, Joint Task Group 629, has since been in the area doing a fantastic job assisting with the clean-up at Wiseman’s Ferry, Lower Portland, and other communities impacted by the floods.
The ADF has a force of around 680 supporting Operation NSW Flood Assist 2021.
Julian Leeser thanked the ADF for all the support they are providing to the community, “Thanks to all the Defence Force Personnel who are working to lift spirits and offer practical help that is making an important difference in the clean-up effort.”
“Despite the tough circumstances, we heard so many amazing stories of locals helping each other out, and that is why I am proud to represent this electorate.”
Grants are available to assist individuals and businesses affected by the floods. To access support call Service NSW on 13 77 88.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) provides one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by the storms and floods.
The rate of AGDRP is $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child. Claims for this payment can be lodged with Services Australia for a period up to 6 months.
Disaster Recovery Allowance
The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) provides income support payments to employees, primary producers and sole traders who can demonstrate they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of the storms and floods.
DRA provides fortnightly payments for up to 13 weeks up to the applicable rate of JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance, depending on the person’s circumstances.
Grants of up to $75,000 for flood-hit small businesses and farmers
Small business recovery grants up to $10,000 (income loss)
The grants are designed to help small business that have experienced a significant decline in revenue. The grant could be used to meet business costs, seek financial advice or to adjust the business and make it more resilient.
Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 (direct damage)
These grants are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including safety inspections, repairs to premises and internal fittings, and replacement of stock.
Primary producer recovery grants up to $75,000 (direct damage)
The grants are designed to provide shortterm targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including salvaging crops and repairs to damaged farm infrastructure (e.g. fencing) and equipment.
Further information can be found at: https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/news/ government-announces-grants-75000-flood-hitsmall-businesses-and-farmers https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/disasters/ current-disasters/New-South-Wales/stormsfloods-10-March-2021-onwards.aspx