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Menindee residents to wait for Back Home grants

The Government has announced $20,000 per family Back Home Grants for those affected by floods across NSW, but Menindee is not on the list, despite continuing severe flooding in low-lying areas of the town.

Parkes MP Mark Coulton – who highlights the grants for other local government areas in his regular column in the Barrier Truth today – said his thoughts were with the Menindee community and added that disaster relief funding took time to organise.

Funds, and other support, announced by the MP are for Dubbo, Gunnedah, Lachlan, Moree Plains, Narrabri and Walgett Local Government Areas (LGAs) who are now eligible to apply for further financial support.

Some of the relief on offer in those LGAs include:

  • Back Home grants of up to $20,000 to support owner-occupiers, landlords and renters to repair their homes and replace essential household items
  • Up to 16 weeks of rental support payments for flood-affected households
  • A $59.4 million Central West Caravan and Modular Housing Program which will secure medium-term housing and extend the at-home caravan program, which is already being rolled out
  • $8.9 million for targeted residential property assessments.

Mr Coulton told us it would take time before Menindee could potentially be added to the list.

“Unfortunately, it does take time for disaster support measures to be activated, often months after flooding has subsided.

“Assessments need to be undertaken before some levels of assistance are activated and while Menindee is in the midst of flooding, it’s not possible to determine the full extent of the damage,” Mr Coulton said.

“The recently announced Back Home grants have been activated for individuals highly impacted by storms and floods from September 2022 onwards.

“These grants were only just announced on December 23 for Local Government Areas such as Moree Plains, which experienced major flooding back in October.

“There is a chance that Central Darling will be added to the list of eligible LGAs in the coming months.

“I will certainly be pushing for Menindee residents to receive all the support they require to recover from this flood.

“I have been in regular contact with Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt since flooding began in my electorate and will continue to work with him to ensure communities such as Menindee are supported.

“All three levels of government will continue to monitor the recovery of individuals, communities and industries and provide additional assistance where there are gaps, to assist with the recovery process,” Mr Coulton said.

Some of the assistance currently available to Central Darling Shire residents includes the Disaster Recovery Allowance which provides fortnightly payments for up to 13 weeks to employees, primary producers and sole traders who can demonstrate they have experienced a loss of income as a direct result of flooding.

Residents may also be eligible for the NSW Government’s Disaster Relief Grant and other grants currently available for those in the Central Darling LGA include $75,000 Primary Producer Recovery Grants, $10,000 Rural Landholders Grants, Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation Recovery Grants and Local Government Recovery Grants.

Mr Coulton’s office said that this is in addition to assistance provided under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, which includes:

  • Personal hardship and distress assistance
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations who have suffered direct damage
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers
  • Grants for non-profit organisations.

Further information about what assistance is available to Menindee residents can be found at https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/Pages/disasters/current-disasters/New-South-Wales/nsw-flooding-14-september-2022-onwards.aspx and https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/floods

PICTURE: NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet inspects flooding during a helicopter flight over the Menindee area, NSW, Saturday, January 7, 2023. AAP, Image Samara Anderson.

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