Disaster assistance for NSW communities after January bushfires

Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and New South Wales Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher today announced that disaster assistance would be available to 11 NSW communities in Southern and Central NSW impacted by bushfires during January 2014.

Mr Keenan said the assistance was being provided under the jointly-funded Commonwealth-NSW Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to the bushfire impacted communities of Bathurst, Coolamon, Greater Hume, Gundagai, Junee, Lockhart, Oberon, Tumbarumba, Tumut, Urana and Wagga Wagga.

“The Australian and NSW Governments are working together through the recovery process to ensure that disaster affected communities can return to normal as soon as possible,” Mr Keenan said.

Assistance is for bushfires affected individuals, families, small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations. Assistance is also available to local councils to assist with the clean-up effort and the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure.

“The danger of bushfires remains real within rural communities. It is important that anyone who lives or works in a bushfire prone area remains vigilant and ensures that they have a bushfire plan in place,’’ Mr Gallacher said.

“I would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary effort of the emergency services volunteers and personnel who have worked tirelessly in NSW and across Australia to protect lives and property from the bushfires.

“The assistance that emergency management volunteers provide would simply not be possible without the valuable support of employers from across all sectors of the business community, as well as the assistance from self-employed emergency management volunteers” Mr Gallacher said.

For more information visit http://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/home.html  or the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au

MEDIA:          Emily Broadbent (Minister Keenan) 0400 390 008

Clint McGilvray (Minister Gallacher) 0413 285 186