Please stay safe on our roads, and avoid any unnecessary travel.  If it’s flooded, forget it – find alternative routes to travel on.

Assistance for Individuals

Immediate Assistance

This assistance is intended to meet the essential emergency needs of people who are directly affected by the disaster and have no other means of meeting their immediate needs (such as evacuees who are unable to access their personal finances or arrange alternative forms of assistance). The assistance may be provided during and in the days after the disaster. These payments have been completely funded by the Government and made immediately available to support communities that have been impacted by these devastating floods. Assistance is provided through in-kind direct material aid e.g., emergency accommodation or small cash payments to purchase essential items. Immediate assistance is generally provided from evacuation or recovery centres.

Since 2019-20, the Federal Government has provided $17 billion in disaster relief, which makes the ability for these flood-affected communities in New South Wales to access these supports possible.

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA)

The Government is also delivering Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) in partnership with the states and territories for flood-affected residents to assist with disaster recovery costs. Eligible costs include assistance measures for individuals, families, businesses, primary producers, not-for-profit organisations, and local & state governments.

In New South Wales, the DRFA assistance has been activated in the flood-affected Local Government Areas.

Disaster Relief Grants

The Disaster Relief Grant has been made available for communities where homes and essential household contents have been destroyed by the floods.

Grants for Essential Household Contents

These grants will assist with the cost of replacing household items essential to maintaining a basic standard of living. Examples of essential household contents include bedding, furniture, clothing, and essential electrical items (e.g., refrigerator, washing machine, stove). These grants assist low-income residents, not covered by insurance, who have no other means of restoring their homes to a safe and habitable condition following the disaster event. Grants are subject to income and assets testing. The amount of assistance provided depends on the assessed needs of the affected household and the number and type of items that have been damaged.

Grants for Essential Structural Repairs to Homes

These grants provide a contribution toward essential structural repairs to low-income homeowners who have no other means of restoring their homes to a safe and habitable condition following the disaster event, and who are not covered by insurance. Grants are subject to income and assets testing. The amount of assistance provided depends on an assessment of structural repairs required and the number of occupants in the home.

Renting a Property Impacted by a Natural Disaster

Disaster Supports from your Financial Institution

Members of the Australian Banking Association offer a range of supports for those who are experiencing financial difficulty due to natural disasters. This can include a deferral of scheduled loan repayments , waiving fees and charges, including break costs on early access to term deposits, debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable, restructuring existing loans free of the usual establishment fees, deferring interest payments on a case-by-case basis , offering additional finance to help cover cash flow shortages , deferring upcoming credit card payments, and increasing emergency credit card limits.

Assistance for Small Businesses, Primary Producers, and Not-For-Profit Organisations

Concessional Interest Rate Loans (Direct Damage) to Small Businesses and Primary Producers

Loans of up to $130,000 at a fixed concessional interest rate may be available to small businesses and primary producers (subject to certain eligibility criteria) that have been directly impacted by a disaster. These loans may be used to meet carry-on requirements or to repair or replace damaged property not covered by insurance.

Concessional Interest Rate Loans (Direct Damage) and Grants to Not-For-Profit Organisations

Assistance to sporting and recreation clubs

A special scheme is available to assist sporting and recreation clubs in meeting the costs of restoration of essential club facilities that have been damaged or destroyed. The assistance is only made available to clubs that do not have the financial capacity to meet restoration costs from their own resources, and who are unable to obtain assistance through normal channels, but have the capacity to repay any loan that may be granted. The maximum assistance available is $12,000, including a grant of up to $2,000 and the balance by way of repayable advance with interest.

Loans to Not-For-Profit Organisations

Loan assistance is available to voluntary non-profit organisations for the restoration of essential facilities that have been damaged or destroyed. Assistance is only available to those organisations that do not have the financial capacity to meet restoration costs from their own resources or insurance and are unable to obtain assistance through normal channels. Advances are subject to a maximum of $25,000 at a concessional interest rate per annum.

Freight Subsidies for Primary Producers

Transport freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent on the carriage of livestock and fodder, and 25 per cent on the carriage of fodder for dairy cattle, are available to help primary producers. The maximum subsidy available is $15,000 per annum.

Assistance for State Agencies and Local Councils

Counter Disaster Operations

This assistance helps state agencies and councils with the costs associated with delivering exceptional relief and recovery measures within impacted communities that go beyond the capacity of the state or local government. This may include activities to render damaged properties or threatened houses safe and habitable, sandbagging and the construction of temporary levees to prevent inundation of residential properties.

Restoration of Essential Public Assets

You may also be eligible for a Disaster Relief Grant if your home or essential household items have been destroyed or damaged. Please click here for more information about this grant or call Resilience NSW on 13 77 88 for more information.

Other Assistance

The NSW Government may also claim costs associated with certain other disaster assistance measures undertaken by state agencies and councils, including the establishment and operation of evacuation and recovery centres, personal and financial counselling services, engagement of community recovery officers and debris removal from residential properties.

Please click here for further information on DRFA assistance on Resilience NSW’s website.

You can contact Service NSW by calling 13 77 88 for more information.

Evacuation orders and warnings are currently in place across the flood-affected communities in New South Wales and Queensland.

How You Can Help

Australians bearing the brunt of these devastating floods need as many people on the ground as possible to assist them during this disaster. If you have any interest in assisting the SES in these efforts, please click this link to find out how you can volunteer.