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

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Federal Member for Page, Kevin Hogan said a range of assistance is now available to help people in Richmond Valley who have been affected by the bushfire, as well as funding for operational response activities.

“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.”

State Member for Clarence, Chris Gulaptis said that the Busbys Flat Road fire has burned more than 13,200 hectares across the Richmond Valley Local Government Area.

“Yesterday the fire crossed the Summerland Way and impacted the West Bungawalbin area,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“There are reports of a number of homes and buildings being destroyed by the fire in Rappville.

“I would urge everyone in the vicinity to monitor the situation and follow any advice that is given by the Rural Fire Services.”

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

· grants 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 www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au


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