The NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and Local Land Services (LLS) are coordinating and providing recovery assistance and advice to landholders, primary producers, commercial fishers, and other industries impacted by the severe weather.
Primary producers who require assistance with livestock welfare, pastures, land management advice, or who wish to report damage should contact Local Land Services - telephone: 1300 795 299
DPI Rural Resilience Officers also provide information on support available for farming families recovering from natural disasters and can connect you to relevant service providers.
Should you need assistance please contact: Jen Haberecht, Coffs Harbour - tel:0400 160 287 or Danny Byrnes, Tweed - tel: 0400 374 258
If you need help, reach out as there are a range of services available as detailed below
or follow this link to be redirected to the LLS webpage with this information
Natural Disaster financial assistance
As a result of the severe flooding and heavy rain, a number of local government areas have been declared natural disaster zones. Information on a range of assistance measures, including Personal Hardship and Distress assistance, low interest loans and transport subsidies are available at the NSW Government Emergency website.
The Rural Assistance Authority
The Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) Natural Disaster Relief Scheme assists primary producers (including commercial fishers and oyster growers), small business operators, non-profit organisations and sporting and recreational clubs affected by flood/fire/storm damage or other declared natural disasters. For the most recent information or to download forms contact the RAA – tel: 1800 678 593 or visit the RAA website.
Disaster relief loans of up to $130,000 are available, subject to certain eligibility criteria, at a concessional interest rate for those in urgent need. These loans may be used for essential working capital, replacement and repair of damage caused to the property and associated improvements not covered by insurance. The repayment term is preceded by a two year interest and repayment free period. Claims must be lodged within six months of the declared date of the disaster.
Transport subsidies of up to 50% of the cost of transporting fodder and/or water to an affected property and stock to/from agistment are available. These rebates apply to primary producers in areas affected by the storm/floods, subject to eligibility criteria. Maximum subsidy available is $15,000 per annum. Claims must be submitted no more than six months after first movement.
Submit all claim forms to the Rural Assistance Authority with invoices, receipts and other documentation.
Personal Hardship and Distress Assistance
The Office of Emergency Management
Can provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster. People with limited financial resources and no insurance may be eligible for assistance for essential household items and structural repairs to the home.
For information about the disaster relief grants and the eligibility criteria call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line – tel: 1800 018 444.
Rural Financial Counselling Services (RFCS)
The Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW Northern Region (RFCS NSW-NR) provides free and impartial rural financial counselling to eligible primary producers, fishers and small rural businesses who are suffering financial hardship, and who have no alternative sources of impartial support, to manage the challenges of change and adjustment.
Steve Sibley, Casino Rural Financial Counsellor – tel: 02 6662 6191
Ross Turvey – tel: 02 6662 6191
Farm Household Support
The Federal Government Department of Human Services provides help for farmers and their families experiencing financial hardship. To be eligible:
you must be a farmer or the partner of a farmer. If you are the farmer you must contribute a significant part of your labour and capital to the farm enterprise based on specific criteria
meet an income and assets test
be willing to undertake a Farm Financial Assessment
be willing to enter into a Financial Improvement Agreement to help you improve your financial circumstances
David Parsons – tel: 02 6660 2013 (based at Casino)
Cathy Curan – tel: 02 6648 6695 (based at Coffs Harbour)
Family and Community Services
Family and Community Services offer the following services:
Housing NSW – tel:1800 152 152. Private rental bond assistance, temporary accommodation and housing assistance
Rentstart Bond assistance – tel:1300 468 746
Community services – tel:132 111
Ageing Disability and Homecare – tel:1300 134 450
Mental Health and Wellbeing
For access to local mental health services contact the organisations listed below.
Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) provides a range of information services to individuals, communities and service providers to link rural and remote people to the help they need. This includes information on where to access services, common mental illnesses and how to keep mentally healthy, as well as the Glove Box Guide to Mental Health.
Steve Carigg – tel: 0477 368 183
Mental Health Line
If you call this number a mental health clinician will answer and take your details. They will ask you the reason for your call and help you work out what to do next. Each phone call is managed according to the caller’s needs.
This number is available 24 hrs a day, seven days a week – tel: 1800 0110511
Beyond Blue (24 hours) – tel:1300 224 636
Mensline (24 hrs) – tel:1300 789 978
Way Ahead (Mon-Fr 9am–5pm) Information, telephone support and referral on issues relating to mental health generally – tel:1300 794 991
Kids Helpline – tel:1800 551 800