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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Disaster assistance available for Singleton residents

Singleton residents affected by this month’s severe storms and floods are being urged to access government assistance in the recovery after the LGA officially received a disaster declaration.

The local government area (LGA) experienced major flooding along the Wollombi Brook, particularly at Bulga; large parts of Putty Valley were cut off as a result of flood waters and road embankment failures; Rose Point Park became a lake; multiple bridges, causeways and roads were closed; and many locals were cut off from essential services, including those in the Stanhope-Lambs Valley area.

Singleton Council crews also worked across the weekend to inspect critical infrastructure and reopen roads and community facilities such as parks and playgrounds.

However, the final cost of the damage will not be known until the floodwater recedes.

Singleton mayor Sue Moore said the disaster declaration meant Singleton could now access government funds to help cover the costs of the clean-up and recovery through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Available assistance consists of help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged; 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.

“I’m very pleased the NSW Government has recognised Singleton has been impacted by the storms and floods that have wreaked havoc on many parts of NSW, including the Hunter,” Cr Moore said.

“The disaster declaration is an important demonstration of support for our community and opens up a range of financial assistance for individuals, businesses and community groups, as well as council.

“It’s an enormous help to those residents of our LGA who were significantly affected by the recent storm and flooding events, particularly primary producers who will bear economic consequences through the loss of crops and productive land.

“I would encourage everyone impacted by the events since 10 March to look into what assistance might be available to them by contacting Service NSW.”

Cr Moore also paid tribute to the SES personnel and volunteers, everyone in the emergency agencies and council staff who responded as the emergency unfolded, as well as the clean-up and recovery.

“Time and time again we see these people who drop everything to come to the aid of our community when we need them most,” she stated.

“We saw the best in people who rushed to respond as the water level rose to protect people and property, and again as the floodwater receded when council crews came in to inspect vital infrastructure and work overtime to bring community facilities back to standard.

“To everyone who has been involved in the response to this emergency, whether it was during the event or in the clean-up that followed, thank you sincerely on behalf of everyone in our community.”

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au

Further details on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and Service NSW at www.disasterassistance.service.nsw.gov.au

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