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VITAL FEDERAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR FIRE-AFFECTED LITHGOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

VITAL FEDERAL FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR FIRE-AFFECTED LITHGOW LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

Federal grants of $15,000 are now available for bushfire-hit farmers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in the Lithgow City Council area.

These grants are on top of the Disaster Recovery Payment which provides $1000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children.

And for those who have lost their income as a direct result of the bushfires, the Government will provide those eligible up to 13 weeks income support via the Disaster Recovery Allowance.

Member for Calare, Andrew Gee, said he extended his heartfelt thanks to all Rural Fire Service and other emergency services personnel for the amazing and inspiring efforts they have put in fighting fires both locally and across the state.

 “Many I have spoken to have been out for long weeks at fire fronts and many are exhausted from the long hours they are putting in,” he added.

“There are numerous agencies working together including the Australian Army which has a co-ordinating officer on the ground in Lithgow. The army is assisting with aerial staging near Lithgow and organising accommodation for weary fire fighters if needed.”

Mr Gee said army personnel were on the ground, providing support 24/7.

“Our volunteers and emergency service personnel put themselves in harm’s way to protect both life and property of others. As a community, we can’t thank them enough and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.”

Mr Gee stressed residents in and around the current fire grounds need to have a bushfire survival plan in place should the conditions worsen.

“If your plan is to leave, please don’t leave it until the last minute to get out if fire is threatening. Go early and ensure you are able to leave safely,” he said.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

To apply for the $15,000 recovery grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.

Disaster Recovery Payments are available now and eligibility can be checked at www.humanservices.gov.au/disaster or by calling 180 22 66.