Coffs Harbour a disaster zone after East Coast low
COFFS Harbour has been included on a list of 37 local government areas declared as natural disaster zones, by the State and Federal Governments.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Mike Baird this afternoon announced disaster assistance has been activated for communities affected by New South Wales storms.
"This support we're announcing today is designed to provide immediate assistance to communities in the hardest hit government areas," Mr Turnbull said.
Individuals, businesses, organisations and councils affected by the East Coast Low will benefit from the joint Federal and State disaster funds.
Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie Hastings were listed on the declaration, but Bellingen and Nambucca shires were not named.
"While Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie-Hastings are currently listed as two of the 37 local government areas eligible for disaster funds, this may be expanded to other North Coast councils, at the discretion of the New South Wales Government," Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker said.
Locally, Coffs Harbour City Council's initial assessment of damage to council-managed property is around $400,000.
The council said the main issues of damage were beach access points, the groin rock wall at the boat ramp, washed out gravel roads and table drain repairs.
Coffs Harbour City Council crews have also spent much of the past three days clearing vegetation debris along roads and around bridges.
"It's great to have all three levels of Government on board and I'm most grateful for the swift response from the Premier and the Prime Minister," Coffs Harbour Mayor Denise Knight said.
Eligible costs include assistance measures for individuals and families, small businesses, primary producers, non-profit organisations and local and state government agencies. Assistance includes:
- Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged, and who meet an assets and income test;
- Assistance to help councils in the affected local government areas with the costs associated with cleaning up and restoring damaged public assets;
- Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations; freight subsidies for primary producers; and
- Grants to not-for-profit organisations.
Assistance is now available in the 37 local government areas of:
Bega, Blacktown, Byron, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Coast, Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Eurobodalla, Fairfield, Hornsby, Inner West, Kiama, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Lismore, Liverpool, Maitland, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Randwick, Ryde, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, The Hills, Tweed, Waverley, Willoughby, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, Wollongong and Woollahra.
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.