Allowances extended to help those who have lost business or work.
Allowances extended to help those who have lost business or work. pada smith/iStock

Income support for bushfire affected communities

COMMUNITIES hit by bushfires in Richmond Valley now have access to 13 weeks of income support payments to help them get back on their feet.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said Assistance is being provided through the Australian Government's Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA).

"We're extending the allowance to help those who have lost their business or work in the valley,” Mr Hogan said.

"Anyone who has lost income because of the fires should to contact Department of Human Services to see if they are eligible.

"This income assistance is set at the maximum rate of the Newstart Allowance. This is on top of payments made under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.” 

Disaster assistance has been made available for communities in Richmond Valley in response to the impacts of the Busbys Flat Road fire.

Yesterday Mr Hogan announced assistance through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

"This fire, which has been burning at Busbys Flat, Wyan, Myrtle Creek and Rappville, has significantly affected local communities, destroying property and putting lives at risk,” Mr Hogan said.

"Both the Commonwealth and the State have moved quickly to activate immediate emergency assistance to help those who have been directly affected and are suffering personal hardship.”

"We are also releasing financial assistance to support the ongoing firefighting operations.”

Assistance measures available under the DRFA may include:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged;
  • 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 and non-profit organisations;
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers; and
  • Frants to eligible non-profit organisations.

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

To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government's Disaster Assist website at and the NSW emergency information and response website at 

Claims for Disaster Recovery Allowance can be from Monday October, 14.

Applicants can call DHS on 180 22 66, visit or visit a DHS Service Centre.

Equivalent financial assistance is also available to eligible New Zealand citizens.

The DRA is available in nine areas affected by the northern NSW bushfires: Armidale, Bellingen, Clarence Valley, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Richmond Valley, Tenterfield, Uralla and Walcha.

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