Flood Recovery Fund aids communities

Communities from 49 councils and shires in North-West New South Wales and Southern Queensland, inundated in the recent November 2000 floods, have been assisted with a $10 million Federal Government Fund. Access to the Fund has been extended to a further 28 Councils and Shires on the NSW North Coast following the severe flooding in January to March 2001.

The Federal Government has to date made 17 grants to Councils from the Flood Recovery Fund totalling $530,000. A further 23 grants totalling $483,000 have been provided to community organisations.

The Fund contributes to the reinstatement of public and community facilities, reimburses councils and community organisations for the clean-up costs of public and community facilities, and provides grants to community service organisations to help them assist the affected communities. Local Government Authorities, Aboriginal communities and incorporated, not-for-profit community service organisations, community groups or clubs are eligible to apply for assistance.

The 17 council and shire projects approved to date include grants to the Inverell, Nundle, Quirindi, Tamworth and Scone Councils to assist with repair of water and sewage facilities. Gunnedah Shire Council has received assistance for cleanup and minor repair of Gunnedah Aerodrome and for the operation of an Authorised Landing Area while the Aerodrome was unusable. Nundle Shire Council has also received assistance for the repair and refurbishment of its caravan park.

The grants to community organisations have gone to sporting clubs for repair and refurbishment of their facilities and to financial counselling organisations to enable them to meet increased demands for services.

Other community services to receive assistance include the Narrabri and Quirindi Branch of the Country Women’s Association of NSW, which received grants to operate ‘Life Force’ suicide prevention programmes.

Applications are being progressively assessed on merit. The Department of Transport and Regional Services makes recommendations to the Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government, Senator Ian Macdonald. Final decisions on funding are made by the Minister.

Applications close on 30 June 2001. For further information visit the Department of Transport and Regional Services website at www.dotrs.gov.Australia/regional/floodrecovery or call Libby Amiel on 02 6274 8081.

Centrelink is also making reimbursement grants to small businesses, inundated in the November 2000 flooding in the 49 Shires in Central and Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland, and now in the28 Shires on the North Coast of New South Wales, that experienced major flooding in January to March 2001.

The grants, of up to $10,000, are to assist with the costs of reopening businesses such as, cleaning, hire of cleaning equipment, repairs to buildings and yards, replacement or relaying of floor coverings and replacement of stock, internal fittings and equipment.

For further information call Centrelink on 1800 050 585.