Funding support from Aust and NSW Governments is huge relief

Image of damage road in Byron hinterland

Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon has welcomed the news that financial support packages from the Australian and NSW Governments will be available for Byron Shire residents, businesses and Council.

“I live at The Pocket and what I am seeing here and at Main Arm is truly unbelievable.

“It’s heartbreaking and sad and the devastation, not only in our towns and villages, but in the hills and rural areas is immense,” Mayor Lyon said.

“But what we are seeing is our community at its absolute best, supporting each other and being strong for those who need support, both physical and emotional.

“I want to thank everyone in our community for pulling together and helping each other during this unprecedented natural disaster.

“There have been so many champions that have stepped up and the stories of their bravery are so inspiring and heart-warming.

“If ever there was a time when we needed help from the Australian and NSW Governments it is now and I am so thankful they have responded quickly,” Mayor Lyon said.

“I understand there will be several phases of this assistance and the details will become clearer in the days and weeks to come but it is there, there are avenues for people to contact to the agencies delivering this funding and that is the important thing,” Mayor Lyon said.

“I understand there will be several phases of this assistance and the details will become clearer but this is in addition to the immediate Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) payment of $1,000 per person that people can apply for this week,” Mayor Lyon said.

“The message that everyone in our community needs to get is that people should, as soon as they can, contact Services NSW to find out what support they are eligible for.

“I acknowledge that even very basic communication is difficult for many people in the Byron Shire at the moment with no internet and very limited phone services and this has made this disaster even more challenging for everyone, including Council,” Mayor Lyon said.

Phase one of the Australian and NSW Government funding includes:

  • $75,000 grants to help primary producers who have suffered direct damage from the recent severe weather and flooding.
  • $50,000 grants to assist small business and not-for-profit organisations that have suffered direct damage from the event.
  • $210 million to help affected communities with the clean-up and removal of flood and storm related damage, debris and green waste. This will enable Byron Shire Council to work with Resilience NSW and NSW Government agencies to coordinate clean-up activities in our Shire.
  • $1 million grants to impacted councils to help with their immediate social, built, economic and environmental needs.
  • $6.5 million to provide Community Recovery Officers to support communities impacted by this event.
  • This funding is in addition the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) and the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) announced early this week.

The AGDRP of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is available for people impacted by a flood event.

The DRA helps employees, small business people and farmers who have lost income as a result of the floods.

The allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks payment from the date people have, or will lose, income as a result of the disaster.

The DRA is set at the maximum equivalent rate of the Jobseeker payment or Youth Allowance.

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