New Support Package for Northern NSW

The Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments will provide $742 million to further support primary industry, businesses, rural landholders, councils and residents affected by the catastrophic flooding event across New South Wales, as part of the next round of support.

This is in addition to the almost $1 billion in emergency response and relief already provided through joint funding packages between the Commonwealth and NSW Governments. Direct Commonwealth disaster relief payments are in addition to these packages.

The fourth phase of support for jointly 50/50 funded programs includes:

  • $100 million for a Small and Medium-sized Businesses Package in the seven highly-impacted local government areas (LGAs) of Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, the Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley and Tweed through two packages.
  • Support for medium-sized (21-199 full time employees) businesses ($20 million), with grants up to $200,000 available to assist with clean-up, essential repairs and replacement that are not covered by existing insurance.
  • Support for eligible small businesses that have suffered a 40 per cent or more downturn in their income ($80 million), with grants of up to $10,000 to help meet their operating costs so they can survive during the period in which the local economy is depressed.
  • $35 million for Rural Landholder Grants of up to $25,000, for impacted landholders state-wide, who are not eligible under existing support mechanisms, including insurance or special disaster assistance, and are able to demonstrate losses and damage beyond the vicinity of the residential dwelling.
  • The Rural Landholder Grant can be used for clean-up activities, damages or losses that are beyond the vicinity of the residential dwelling. This includes the removal of debris and deceased livestock, maintenance of livestock health, and repairing or replacing fencing.
  • $150 million for the primary industry sector targeted at assisting primary producers to protect supply chains, and boost recovery and rebuilding efforts.
  • This includes funding for Critical Producer Grants providing rapid support for significantly impacted primary producers (in addition to existing mechanisms) for recovery and rebuild, and funding for Primary Industry Recovery and Resilience to provide targeted grants for medium to longer-term projects that support supply chain efficiencies and recovery and rebuilding efforts.
  • $142 million to provide assessment of properties and the demolition of those found to be uninhabitable across disaster-declared LGAs.
  • An extension of the Recovery Grants currently available for primary producers, small businesses and councils in further disaster-declared LGAs.

The Commonwealth Government will also solely provide the following assistance in the Northern Rivers as part of the fourth phase package:

  • Up to $50 million for large businesses and major employers in key industries to provide immediate financial assistance in the Northern Rivers.
  • This package will provide funding to help the recovery of big businesses that are major employers in the region.

In addition, direct Commonwealth financial support through the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) for the disaster-declared seven LGAs in New South Wales, including extra payments of up to $2,000 for residents of Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley and Tweed LGAs.

  • As at 17 March 2022, $653 million has been paid directly to support 596,000 individuals in New South Wales through these Commonwealth Government payments.

The New South Wales Government will also provide the following:

  • $120 million Local Council Support Package, including:
  • $40 million to provide grants to councils to address urgent and immediate operational challenges.
  • $80 million to establish a working capital fund to supplement councils with flood and disaster recovery where residents are unable to pay their rates.
  • $145 million for the urgent repair and replacement of water and sewerage critical infrastructure capacity in the Northern Rivers disaster-declared LGAs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Federal Government was following through on continuing to support the entire Northern New South Wales community as they continue to recover.

“We will continue to support thousands of residents and businesses in Northern New South Wales, by giving them the support they need to get back on their feet,” the Prime Minister said.

“This support package gets money in the hands of our small and medium-sized businesses and our farmers so they can rebuild and support the whole community to recover together.

“To date, my Government has provided New South Wales with $1.7 billion in direct funding to help communities rebuild and we will continue to back in those businesses and residents that need support.”

Acting New South Wales Premier Paul Toole said our regional communities are resilient, but they need the right support to rebuild and bounce back stronger than ever, and they need that support now.

“These regional communities provide vital resources for a huge part of the NSW population, so it’s critical money lands in the hands of local residents, our farmers, and business owners impacted by the floods to help keep the engine room of our state moving,” Mr Toole said.

“This latest package will provide valuable support to the hardest-hit communities of Ballina, Byron, Lismore, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Tweed Shire, and Clarence Valley.”

Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Bridget McKenzie said that this new support package for NSW will assist businesses in flood-affected communities to get back on their feet.

“The floods have had a devastating impact on our communities in Northern NSW, causing enormous upheaval to lives and livelihoods. This new package will support businesses and communities to repair the damage, stimulate local economies, and help communities to move forward,” Minister McKenzie said.

New South Wales Treasurer Matt Kean said the Government was committed to providing support to the many families, businesses and communities that have been so severely affected by these terrible floods.

“Many of these communities have been hit by a full spectrum of disasters these past two years. Now as the clean-up continues in earnest, this package will deliver support for their immediate recovery,” Mr Kean said.

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the seven most heavily impacted areas of Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Clarence Valley would receive $150 million worth of funding support to assist businesses and employers within the Northern Rivers region get back to work.

“This commitment includes $100 million for small-to-medium sized businesses and not-for-profit organisations,” Ms Cooke said.

“With the clean-up continuing in earnest, we are also pleased to extend the Clean Up and Recovery Grants to the additional 13 disaster-declared Local Government Areas (LGAs).”

This latest package for NSW focuses on support for businesses impacted by the flooding and is jointly funded through the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

There are now 58 LGAs in NSW eligible for assistance under the DRFA. This includes the additional LGA of Port Stephens.

People in NSW requiring disaster recovery support are urged to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit nsw.gov.au/floods.