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Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Disaster assistance is now available in the Narrabri Local Government Area (LGA) following impacts of fires in the Pilliga State Forest that started on 8 December 2023.

The assistance measures are being provided by the Albanese and Minns Governments through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Support includes:

  • Assistance for eligible residents to help meet immediate needs like emergency accommodation or small cash payments to purchase essential items generally provided from evacuation or recovery centres.
  • Grants for eligible residents to replace lost essential household items to maintain basic standard of living.
  • Grants for eligible residents to undertake essential structural repairs to restore their homes to a safe and habitable condition.
  • 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, sporting and recreation clubs, and non-profit organisations to repair or replace damaged or destroyed property.
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers to help transport livestock and fodder.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt said the fires had burned through more than 130,000 hectares in the Pilliga State Forest.

“This is a large bushfire that has been fuelling dangerous fire-generated thunderstorms with smoke visible from hundreds of kilometres away,” Minister Watt said.

“I want to thank those who have worked hard to battle this blaze. The Minns Government and Rural Fire Service continue to monitor the situation and the Albanese Government stands ready to respond to any requests for assistance.”

NSW Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said fire impacted community members and primary producers would be supported in their clean-up and recovery.

“Work to assess the impact is being conducted as quickly as possible, and this is the first step in making assistance available to those in need,” Minister Dib said.

“The scale and intensity of this fire is a reminder of the dangers we face over summer.”

“Recent rain is a welcome change for firefighters as they work to contain the fire following threats to life and property over the past week.”

NSW Member for Barwon Roy Butler thanked emergency services, particularly volunteers.

“This fire could have been far more devastating had it not been for the efforts of emergency service staff and volunteers.

“Even yesterday there were about 200 people out on the fire ground, and 60 people from various agencies in the Fire Control Centre.”

“Without volunteers and community assistance none of this would have been possible. Well done to everyone involved.”

For information relating to financial assistance, replacing lost documents, location of your nearest recovery centre and more, please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit www.nsw.gov.au.

To apply for a concessional loan or primary producer grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Further information on disaster assistance can be found on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au.


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