Extension of assistance for bushfire affected communities in Bellingen

Disaster assistance has been extended to communities in the Bellingen Local Government Area, as the Bee’s Nest bushfire continues to burn.

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

Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud said as these fires continue to burn, communities need to remain vigilant, well prepared and have a plan.

“The fires have burnt through thousands of hectares of land, causing major disruptions to nearby communities in Bellingen,” Minister Littleproud said.

“The Commonwealth and New South Wales governments continue to work closely to ensure affected communities are getting the support they need.

“Funding is also available to support ongoing operational response activities.”

The New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said significant firefighting operations are ongoing to bring the fires under control.

“The Bee’s Nest bushfire has burnt more than 74,000 hectares. Over the weekend, the fire expanded and impacted properties in western parts of Bellingen,” Minister Elliott said.

“The bushfires are still out of control, and I would urge everyone in the vicinity of the bushfires to monitor the situation, and follow any advice that is given by the Rural Fire Service.”

Assistance measures available under the DRFA may include:

  • 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 eligible non-profit organisations.

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.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website and the NSW emergency information and response website.

Source: Australian Government