Further support for NSW flood zones
The Morrison and Perrottet Governments have agreed on a further recovery package for people and communities affected by the recent flooding disasters.
The package builds on nearly $3 billion already committed by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to support recovery efforts, including nearly $1.4 billion that the Commonwealth has already paid direct to people in affected areas.
This package includes:
- $312.5 million for a Stage 1 Regional Roads and Transport Recovery Package to rebuild the road networks, particularly in the Northern Rivers. Funding will be provided under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) Category B and, where needed, Category D. This initial stage of works addresses the most immediate needs with both governments committing to future regional road and transport recovery, investment and repair
- $168 million for the Land and Housing Corporation to deliver urgent social housing solutions and replace social housing lost during the floods. NSW will fund new infrastructure, while the Commonwealth will co-fund the cost to repair damage to existing social housing
- $70 million for Aboriginal housing solutions for communities such as Cabbage Tree Island. The cost is to be shared with the Commonwealth
- $100 million for the repair and reconstruction of community, arts and cultural infrastructure such as libraries, youth and senior citizens facilities, playing fields and courts, playgrounds and parks (including amenities restoration and equipment replacement), with the Commonwealth supporting the funding (50:50) for community-owned assets through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements Category D
- $50 million funded 50:50 for the repair and reconstruction of Aboriginal community infrastructure and access needs owned by Local Aboriginal Land Councils
- $64 million for the urgent repair and restoration of key wetlands and riverbank sites and landscapes where there is a threat to public safety and infrastructure
- $36 million for urgent works required to assess and repair flood levees across northern NSW, with costs to be shared 50:50 through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements Category D
- The Commonwealth will also contribute $56.25 million for the NSW Back Home program to support damaged dwellings within the seven Northern Rivers LGAs and the Hawkesbury LGA.
Under DRFA, the Commonwealth and states share costs 50:50 for relief and recovery programs falling under Categories A, C and generally D. For Category B, the amount of reimbursement depends on the State’s total spend and can increase up to a 75 per cent Commonwealth contribution.
Both governments agree that these works will commence as quickly as possible to give communities support and certainty as they work through the recovery from the disaster.
Though full details of some elements of this package are yet to be settled, final costs for each level of government will be finalised in due course.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his Government was committed to the long-term recovery of floodaffected communities.
“These are strong communities with huge hearts and we’ll have their backs on the journey to recovery,” the Prime Minister said.
“With $1.4 billion already out the door from my Government and in the pockets of residents and businesses, these further commitments will help set up the longer-term recovery and future resilience of communities in northern NSW and western Sydney.
“I also look forward to working with all state and territory governments to establish clear and transparent reporting processes so that anyone affected by disasters in the future can see how much assistance is flowing into the pockets of families and businesses from the various levels of government.”
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the extra assistance was the next step in the rebuilding and recovery efforts being rolled out to communities devastated by the floods.
“This isn’t the start and it won’t be the end of the assistance our governments are delivering for the clean-up, recovery and future reconstruction of these communities,” the Premier said.
“Communities across NSW have been hit hard by these extraordinary events and as we move from the emergency response and disaster relief efforts to the recovery and resilience priorities we will work closely with local community groups, businesses and councils to ensure nobody is left behind.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the investments to restore local roads and infrastructure was just the beginning.
“Going to the flood-devastated areas has such an overwhelming effect on you and we must work together to get people in these areas back on their feet, back in their homes and the vital infrastructure they rely on repaired as quickly as possible,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We are ensuring funding flows to projects that will help these communities recover and build back stronger.”
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the latest round of funding would support the hardest-hit communities as they moved from recovery into reconstruction.
“This latest support highlights the ongoing efforts to help these communities get back on their feet, and we‘ll continue to throw everything at helping them bounce back stronger than ever in the weeks, months and years ahead,” Deputy Premier Toole said.
“This package will put more roofs over heads, restore the road network to keep people better connected, and roll out targeted and practical support to some of our most vulnerable communities.”
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Bridget McKenzie said this next package of assistance highlighted that both the Federal and NSW Governments were focused on getting the right outcomes for flood-affected communities.
“Our Governments are getting on with the job of supporting people who need it,” Minister McKenzie said.
“This next phase of recovery and resilience assistance isn’t just about helping rebuild the bricks and mortar of businesses, community halls or the roads and highways that have been damaged, it’s also about backing the courage and hope in those communities.”
NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said as flood waters had receded and debris removed, the priorities for the rebuild had become clear.
“Both federal and state agencies are on the ground every day and embedded with communities in the Northern Rivers region to understand where our resources can help and what is needed to tackle the difficulties communities are facing,” Minister Cooke said.
“The additional support being announced today will provide secure shelter for thousands of flood-affected people.
“Rebuilding a community is also about restoring the places where people come together, which is why we are funding the replacement of sporting grounds, galleries and other community hubs.”
This further support is in addition to $3 billion in support already announced from the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, including:
- An additional two disaster payments for the catastrophe zones, automatically paid for 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
- $285 million Temporary Housing Support package
- $75,000 primary producers and the $50,000 small business and not-for-profit grants extended to all disaster declared LGAs
- $150 million Primary Industries Support Package
- $6.5 million for Community Recovery Officer
- $35 million for Rural Landholder Grants
- $150 million Northern Rivers Support Package for businesses
- $142 million Property Assessment and Demolition Program
- $1 million grants to impacted councils to assist with their immediate social, built, economic and environmental needs
- $350 million to assist with the clean-up and removal of flood and storm-related damage, debris and green waste
- $10 million to support the mental health of school-aged children in the Northern Rivers region affected by the recent flood event under the Resilient Kids program
- $800,000 to extend the Regional Small Business Support Program to include small businesses impacted by the recent flood event in NSW and QLD for two RFCS regions, with a six-month extension until 31 December 2022, as well as free and independent case-managed financial counselling through the Rural Financial Counselling Service
- $5.4 million to boost existing legal assistance services operating within affected communities
- $25 million for emergency relief, food relief and financial counselling services
- About $6.9 million in support payments of $10,000 to assist early childhood education and care (ECEC) services affected by the floods where they have been closed for more than seven days. More severely impacted services will also be able to apply for Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances grants
- $7 million to expand the Commonwealth’s business recovery and resilience service, Strengthening Business, into at least 30 of the most flood affected regions of northern NSW and south-eastern Queensland
- $31.2 million to deliver immediate and longer term local mental health support services for individuals, families, and communities impacted by the disaster and to support communities to recover and build resilience across the flood affected communities
- $4.7 million to ensure the immediate continuity of primary health care services for flood-impacted Australians.