The Australian Government has moved quickly to support people in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales affected by the ongoing extensive flooding, making disaster assistance payments for individuals available across an additional 44 Local Government Areas.
In Victoria, the Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to people in the 23 LGAs of Alpine, Benalla, Buloke, Campaspe, Central Goldfields, Corangamite, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, Hepburn, Horsham, Loddon, Macedon Ranges, Mansfield, Maribyrnong, Mitchell Shire, Moira, Moonee Valley, Murrindindi, Northern Grampians, Pyrenees, Strathbogie and Wangaratta.
The Disaster Recovery Allowance has been made available to assist employees and sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster and is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks. DRA is taxable.
In Tasmania, the Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to people in the 17 LGAs of Break O’Day, Burnie, Central Coast, Central Highlands, Circular Head, Devonport, Dorset, Flinders, George Town, Kentish, Latrobe, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands, Waratah-Wynyard, West Coast and West Tamar.
In New South Wales, the Disaster Recovery Allowance is available to people in the additional 4 LGAs of Central Coast, Coonamble, Goulburn-Mulwaree and Parkes, bringing the total number of NSW LGAs receiving support from the Australian Government for this event to 31.
In addition, in recognition of the number of homeowners affected in particular LGAs, the one-off, non-means tested Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is available to people who live in the Victorian LGAs of Campaspe, Greater Shepparton, Maribyrnong, Mitchell and Strathbogie and in the Tasmanian LGAs of Central Coast, Kentish and Meander Valley, who have suffered a significant loss as a result of the floods, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or a serious injury.
Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (‘non-protected’ Special Category Visas, subclass 444 holders) affected by the floods.
Claims are available to be made from 2pm Sunday and they can be made 24 hours a day.
For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Services Australia website: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
“It’s heartbreaking to think that for many people this is the third or fourth time in 18 months that their lives have been disrupted by a natural disaster of this magnitude.”
“Over the last few years our resilience has been tested time and time again, and many people are doing it tough.”
“I want everyone in a flood affected region to know that the Commonwealth stands ready and committed to provide support now and through the recovery.”
Quotes attributable to Bill Shorten, Minister for Government Services:
“These are the toughest of times for people and we want to help communities get back on their feet.”
“This is a modest payment to help flood victims doing it hard.”
“Services Australia’s priority is to help people to access essential disaster assistance, and staff have been mobilised to provide on-the-ground support.”
“People affected by the flooding can check their eligibility for Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance on the Services Australia website at servicesaustralia.gov.au/disasterevents, before lodging a claim for assistance.”
“The easiest way to claim is online through my.gov.au. Online claiming is available 24x7. Claims can be submitted from 2pm Sunday.”
“If people need additional support to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66 from 2pm Sunday.”
Quotes attributable to Murray Watt, Minister for Emergency Management:
“This is a very serious situation across multiple states and the Albanese Government has worked closely with state and local authorities to make financial help available as swiftly as possible.
“We know that there may be more communities impacted by these flooding events over the coming days.
“As the full extent of the damage starts to become more apparent, we will keep working to provide assistance when it’s needed.”