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Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced that disaster assistance has been made available for affected communities in the Upper Hunter Shire following last weekend’s bushfires.

Mr Johnsen said the assistance is being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“The Nationals in Government are committed to supporting the communities in the Upper Hunter Local Government Area (LGA) that have been affected by bushfires.

“I commend the men and women in our fire and emergency services, career and volunteer, who are protecting New South Wales communities, and urge those affected to stay aware of their surroundings and heed the advice from emergency management authorities.”

Mr Johnsen said a range of disaster assistance is available to help affected individuals, small businesses, primary producers, and local councils.

“The Federal and State Coalition Governments have acted quickly to ensure affected people have access to much needed disaster assistance to support their recovery.”

The assistance available to the Upper Hunter LGA includes:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets; 
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; 
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers; and
  • Grants to non-profit organisations.

“Many Upper Hunter communities have been affected by the bushfires over the weekend, and this assistance will greatly help those communities recover from the disaster,” Mr Johnsen concluded.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.  

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.au and the New South Wales emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au.