Central Coast declared a state of natural disaster

Vehicle caught in the Mardi Creek causeway at Tuggerah Photo: Denny Campbell

Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared a state of natural disaster for the Central Coast region, following 340mm of rain falling in the previous four days causing widespread flooding.

The natural disaster declaration means that funding and support would flow more quickly to residents and businesses affected by the floods.

Assistance is also available to Central Coast Council to restore essential public assets like roads and bridges.

Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said assistance would be available through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and would include help for eligible people whose homes or belongings had been damaged.

The funding assistance would also include: concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; freight subsidies for primary producers; grants to non-profit organisations as well as Council to help clean-up costs and restoring damaged essential public assets.

The Australian Government is also offering a financial support payment to Central Coast residents.

The Disaster Recovery Payment and the Disaster Recovery Allowance aims to provide much needed assistance to those who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home, serious injury or who have lost a family member.

Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, said that he would continue to act swiftly to support communities directly affected, particularly those whose homes have been significantly damaged or flooded.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment provides a one-off, non means tested payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, who have been seriously injured, lost their homes or whose homes have been directly damaged, or the immediate family members of a person who has lost their life as a direct result of the storms and floods.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance provides a short term income support payment to assist individuals whose income has been affected as a direct result of the storms and floods.

People eligible for the Allowance can access income assistance for up to 13 weeks, equivalent to the maximum rate of the JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance.

Equivalent financial assistance will also be available to eligible New Zealand citizens (non-protected Special Category Visa, subclass 444 holders) affected by the storms and floods.

The Australian Government will also lift mutual obligation requirements for job seekers in the Central Coast local government area impacted by the floods and storms, from Friday, March 19, until Tuesday, April 6.

“No job seeker in the affected areas will face payment suspension or financial penalties for failing to meet their mutual obligation requirements such as not being able to attend appointments or activities,” Minister Littleproud said.

The Central Coast is one of 34 local government areas across NSW to be eligible for the Australian Government support payments.

Media release, Mar 21
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud
Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch