Disaster assistance following bush fires across NSW

Department of Home Affairs

​Joint media release with the Hon Steph Cooke MP

Disaster assistance is now available for councils, primary producers and residents in
Bathurst, Bogan, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Dubbo, Mid-Western, Walgett and
Warren following severe bush fires earlier this month.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the bush fires across Central and Central West NSW have razed more than 40,000 hectares of mostly isolated farmland, destroyed properties and hundreds of livestock.

“We understand that this is a stressful time for affected residents and farmers,” Minister Watt said.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man who has sadly passed away after sustaining injuries in a hazard control burn in Forbes.

“I urge those defending their farms, livestock, and properties to please be vigilant, stay up-to-date with advice, and be very careful with the use of fire.”

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, Steph Cooke, said the assistance will support councils, property owners, farmers and primary producers to clean-up and recover from the bush fires.

“Recent bush fires have had a devastating impact on a number of communities across New South Wales, which is why it is so important that we help residents get their lives back on track and councils make crucial repairs to public assets,” Minister Cooke said.

“The NSW and Australian governments are working together to assist these eight council areas through the recovery process, with additional areas expected to be disaster declared shortly following more recent fires.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

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

Farmers can contact Local Land Services for assistance with animal welfare issues, including emergency fodder, on 1800 814 647 or visit the Local Land Services website.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit the Service NSW website.

To apply for a concessional loan, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.

/Public Release. View in full here.