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Natural Disaster Declaration and Information

For more information regarding NATURAL DISASTER declarations and assistance available to those affected by the bushfires visit the NSW Ministry for Police and Emergency Services webiste HERE.

For the latest fire and emergency information from the Rural Fire Service CLICK HERE.

Monkey Top fire

Member for Murrumbidgee, Adrian Piccoli has welcomed the announcement by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell of Natural Disaster Assistance Declarations for local government areas in the Murrumbidgee electorate.

Mr Piccoli confirmed that the Local Government areas of Coolamon, Junee and Lachlan were declared yesterday, with Carrathool, Griffith, Leeton, Murrumbidgee, Narrandera, Bland and Temora added this morning.

"Despite weather conditions reaching the 'Catastrophic' classification on Tuesday, our area has been extremely fortunate to not sustain much greater damage from fires," Mr Piccoli said.

"This is mainly due to the fantastic efforts of our volunteer fire fighters, ably assisted by Fire and Rescue NSW and the pre-emptive planning put in place by the NSW Government and the Rural Fire Service.

"While thankfully there has been no loss of life, many property owners have suffered significant damage and the natural disaster assistance measures will help them recover from the fires."

Under the NSW Government Natural Disaster Declaration, a range of assistance grants will be made available including:

·         Disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged are available;

·         Transport freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent on the carriage of livestock and fodder are available to help primary producers to a maximum of $15,000 per annum;

·         Loans of up to $130,000 are also available (subject to certain eligibility criteria), at a concessional interest rate, for primary producers and small businesses in urgent need.

·         Grants are also available to councils to help them meet the additional costs of emergency work to restore essential services; and

·         A special scheme is available to assist sporting clubs in meeting the costs of restoration of essential club facilities that have been damaged or destroyed.

Mr Piccoli said that the total damage bill across the area was yet to be assessed.

"I thank the Premier of New South Wales and the Prime Minister for making this disaster assistance available, and we owe a great debt of gratitude to those who have willingly given their time and effort to protect our community."  Mr Piccoli concluded.