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Assistance for Natural Disasters

A range of assistance is available for individuals and businesses affected by bushfire, drought and flood events in the Northern Inland.

Please note that while we update our lists of available grants regularly, this is not a comprehensive list and closing dates and details should be verified using the links provided as they are subject to change by the providers without notice

Flood Assistance

Mail Redirection for Natural Disasters Grant Closes: Ongoing Value: 12 Months Mail Redirection Run By: Australia Post Further Information: https://auspost.com.au/receiving/manage-your-mail/redirect-hold-mail/redirect-mail/free-mail-redirection-and-po-boxes

You may be eligible for up to 12 months free mail redirection if a major natural disaster impacts your mail delivery. Australia Post will let affected residents in the region know if this is available .

If you and/or your small business are impacted by floods in October 2022, they can help you with free mail redirection. Call in to your nearest Post Office for more information and to apply.

Last Updated: 30th of October 2022
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Hardship Support Program Closes: Ongoing Run By: Revenue NSW Further Information: https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/news-media-releases/natural-disaster-relief

If you have been impacted by a natural disaster which is making it difficult to manage your payments and obligations with Revenue NSW, we can offer a range of options to help you based on your specific circumstances.

These may include:

  • extending payment or lodgement time frames
  • arranging payment plans
  • lifting licence or registration sanctions
  • putting debts on short term hold
  • assisting with hardship applications
  • considering the emergency situation when assessing requests for review.
Last Updated: 30th of October 2022
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Additional Child Care Subsidy Grant Closes: Ongoing Run By: Services Australia

You can apply for an additional Child Care Subsidy for Temporary Financial Hardship due to a natural disaster.

Last Updated: 30th of October 2022
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Disaster Relief Grant for Individuals Grant Closes: Ongoing Run By: Resilience NSW Further Information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/resilience-nsw/disaster-relief-grant-for-individuals

If your home or essential household contents were damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster, you may be eligible for the Disaster Relief Grant for individuals.

The financial assistance is provided to help people to recover from the effects of a disaster and re-establish a basic standard of living. It is not provided to replace insurance or compensate for losses.

The grants assist low-income residents who have no other means of restoring their homes to a safe and habitable condition following a disaster event.

Assistance falls into two categories: 

  1. Essential Household Contents Grants to assist with the cost of re-establishing essential household items considered necessary to maintain a basic standard of living.
  2. Structural Grants as a contribution toward essential structural repairs to homes for households unable to meet the cost of repairs. The Structural Repair Grants are commonly delivered in the form of either grants to contribute toward essential structural repairs to homes or full rebuilds of property which has been rendered uninhabitable. 

If the natural disaster event has caused damage to a temporary dwelling, assistance provided will depend on the type of temporary dwelling. There are several types of temporary dwelling support available, including support for people living in caravans, houseboats and relocatable homes and rough sleepers.

Last Updated: 30th of October 2022
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Rentstart Assistance Grant Closes: Ongoing Run By: NSW Government Communities and Justice Further Information: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/check-your-eligibility-rentstart-assistance

If you're unable to return to your home due to the floods and need support to enter the private rental market, you can contact the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing Contact Centre. A rental bond loan and a grant for advance rent may be available.

  • Rentstart Bond Loan – An interest-free loan where you can apply for up to 100% of a rental bond. In exceptional circumstances, Housing NSW may provide a loan of up to 100% of the bond. Your repayment plan is based on how much of your income is spent on rent.
  • Advance Rent – A grant that's provided to clients who already have a Rentstart Bond Loan, but are finding it difficult to meet the set-up costs of their tenancy. It's also available to help clients who are moving into caravan parks, or registered boarding houses and hostels where a deposit is needed, rather than a bond having to be lodged with the Bond Board. In this instance, up to 100% of the key money, or security bond, or other deposit is provided. Advance Rent is a grant and doesn't need to be repaid.
Last Updated: 30th of October 2022
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Bushfire Assistance

2019-20 Bushfires Legal Aid Scheme Grant Closes: Ongoing Value: Up to $7,000 of legal aid Run By: Legal Aid NSW Further Information: https://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/for-lawyers/resources-and-tools/bushfire-legal-aid-scheme

If you’ve been affected by a bushfire, storm or flood, we can help you with everyday legal problems including insurance claims and disputes, financial hardship, tenancy and Centrelink.

An Early Resolution Assistance (ERA) approval of $2000 in professional fees is available for legal services and up to an additional $5000 is available for disbursements. Funding extensions are available in reasonable circumstances. An eligible business or primary producer with more than one bushfire related legal matter may receive more than one approval for legal services and related expenses.

Eligible LGAs in the Northern Inland are:

  • Armidale
  • Glen Innes Severn
  • Inverell
  • Tenterfield
  • Walcha

The funding is available for legal issues including, but not limited to:

  • Insurance disputes
  • Commercial leases
  • Contract disputes
  • Planning and building law
  • Local Government disputes
  • Entitlements to government grants and schemes
  • Credit and debt
  • Banking
  • Fencing issues
  • Property law
  • Employment law issues for employers

To be eligible for funding under the Scheme, the applicant must be:

  • A primary producer or small business owner.
  • With a farm or business located in a designated LGA.
  • With a legal issue arising from the 2019/2020 bushfire season in one of the designated LGAs.
Last Updated: 16th of October 2022
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Drought Assistance

Drought Assistance Fund Grant Closes: Ongoing Value: Up to $50,000 Run By: Rural Assistance Authority Further Information: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/loans/drought-assistance-fund

he NSW Government is offering $50,000 interest-free loans to primary producers to implement systems and management practices that enhance the sustainability of their farm business. The loan term is seven years and there are no repayments required in the first two years.

This loan will fund:

  • The transport of stock, fodder and water
  • Genetic banking of breeding herds
  • Installation of on-farm fodder and water infrastructure
  • Activities that promote profitability and resilience as a result of the on-farm investment
Last Updated: 16th of October 2022
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Farm Innovation Fund Grant Closes: Ongoing Value: Up to $1 Million Run By: Rural Assistance Authority Further Information: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/loans/farm-innovation-fund

The Farm Innovation Fund provides low interest loans to helps farmers to:

  • Improve farm productivity by reducing risks and improve efficiencies by building fodder and grain storage facilities, sheds, fencing, roadworks and solar power conversions.
  • Manage adverse seasonal conditions by improving water efficiencies with irrigation systems, cap and piping of bores, new dams, install water tanks and desilting of ground tanks.
  • Ensure long term sustainability by increasing the viability of a farm business and improve pasture and soil health, plant trees for shade and wildlife corridors, eradicate weeds, flood proof property and fence riverbanks.
Last Updated: 2nd of November 2020
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Past Bushfire Assistance and Programs

Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund - Stream 2 ClosedGrant Closed: 16th of November 2020 Value: $20,000 to $300,000 Run By: Resilience NSW Further Information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/grants-and-funding/bushfire-community-recovery-and-resilience-fund

Provides grants for community groups, councils, joint organisations, NGOs, and not-for-profits in the local government areas that were disaster-declared during the 2019-20 bushfires to fund social recovery and preparedness projects.

The objective of Phase Two Stream 2 of the BCRRF is to support social recovery from bushfires for affected local communities to:

  • reduce the adverse impact of the bushfires and make a sustained recovery,and
  • be more resilient to future disasters and improve general wellbeing.

Grants will be assessed with a regional focus to maximise the recovery support to communities across local government boundaries.

The following Northern Inland Local Government Areas are eligible:

  • Armidale Regional
  • Glen Innes Severn
  • Gwydir
  • Inverell
  • Narrabri
  • Tamworth
  • Tenterfield
  • Uralla
  • Walcha
Last Updated: 23rd of October 2020
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Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund ClosedGrant Closed: 28th of January 2021 - 2:00 pm (Extended) Value: $20,000 to $20 Million Run By: NSW Government Further Information: https://www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/bushfire-local-economic-recovery-fund

On the 24th of November it was announced that the closing date for applications for this program will be extended to the 28th of January 2021, and the final project completion date has also been extended by 12 months to the 30th of June 2023.

The Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund will provide $250 million of further funding to support the social and economic recovery of communities affected by bushfire in 47 regional NSW Local Government Areas.

It will support projects that retain and create new jobs in regional areas, build resilience and increase preparedness for future bushfire seasons. 

Funding is available in the following three categories:

  • Infrastructure projects, such as roads to support increased industrial development.
  • Environmental projects, such as regeneration activities.
  • Programs including social, business and environmental education initiatives.

Funding is available for projects such as:

  • Local community and cultural infrastructure
  • Tourism campaigns (including digital product development) and regional events
  • Workforce adaptation and work ready training programs
  • Community wellbeing and mental health programs
  • Tourism infrastructure including walking and mountain bike trails
  • Neighbourhood safer places

The following Local Councils in the Northern Inland are eligible:

  • Armidale Regional
  • Glen Innes Severn
  • Gwydir Shire
  • Inverell Shire
  • Narrabri Shire
  • Tamworth Regional
  • Tenterfield Shire
  • Uralla Shire
  • Walcha Shire
Last Updated: 23rd of October 2020
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Bushfire Recovery Restoration Grant - Round 4 ClosedGrant Closed: 30th of April 2023 or until expended Value: Up to $5,000 Run By: Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife Further Information: https://fnpw.org.au/grant/bushfire-restoration-grants/

The Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife invites applications to support revegetation activities for communities in the Local Government Areas (LGA) listed as impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires.

The grant program aims to provide funding for field projects that will have a direct restoration outcome for the 2019-2020 bushfire impacted LGAs:

  • Enable communities to rebuild their local environments devastated by the 2019-2020 bushfires.
  • Support the restoration of key habitats and ecosystems needed for healthy landscapes within the LGA’s impacted by the 2019-2020 bushfires.

It also aims to support the FNPW priorities of:

  • Protecting our native flora and fauna: Ecosystem regeneration, threatened species protection, and wildlife corridors
  • Emergency response: Bushfire Recovery nurseries, tree planting, and biodiversity restoration
  • Educating and inspiring: Corporate days, volunteering programs, training

Priority will be given to projects and organisations that:

  • are planting 1,000 or more trees sourced from an FNPW bushfire recovery nursery.
  • show community or volunteer engagement within the project activities.
  • undertake work over a 3ha minimum area, reinforcing areas of existing native vegetation in good condition, including areas adjacent to protected areas, within vegetation corridors and/or riparian zones, or which provide habitat stepping stones.
  • support collaboration with Traditional Owners and Indigenous organisations and the engagement of Aboriginal contractors.
Last Updated: 10th of October 2022
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Bushfire Recovery Small On-Farm Grants ClosedGrant Closed: 22nd of January 2021 - 4:30 pm Value: Unspecified Run By: Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Further Information: https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/regions/northern-tablelands/grants-and-funding

Grants are available to farmers and community groups in the Northern Tablelands region to control weeds and pests, and improve or rebuild facilities or equipment for safe handling and management of livestock.

The Northern Tablelands LLS region is defined as within the Tenterfeld, Glen Innes Severn, Guyra, Inverell, Armidale Regional, Uralla and Walcha local government areas.

Applications will be assessed based on eligibility, value for money and available funds.

Last Updated: 15th of December 2020
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Bushfire Restoration Grants - Tree Planting ClosedGrant Closes: Ongoing Run By: Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife Further Information: https://fnpw.org.au/grant/bushfire-restoration-grants/

This program provides trees from the FNPW Bushfire Recovery Nurseries for restoration activities in and around bushfire impacted areas

Trees provided as in-kind are to be sourced through one of the FNPW Bushfire Recovery Nurseries. A minimum of 1,000 trees (>3m) for all orders. Approximately 50,000 trees are available in nurseries as of March 31 for planting in 2021.

Decision and contact to all applicants will be made via email within 14 days of application.

Last Updated: 20th of July 2021
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Past Drought Assistance

Animal Welfare Transport Subsidy ClosedGrant Ongoing Until Closed: 2nd of December 2020 31/01/2021 Value: Up to $50,000 Run By: Rural Assistance Authority Further Information: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/transport-subsidy

This subsidy covers up to 50% of the total freight cost to a maximum of $20,000 per farm business and is available where:

  • animals are at significant risk
  • there is little or no feed and/or water available, including both pasture and stored fodder
  • animals leave the farming enterprise permanently and
  • the enterprise demonstrates a significant financial need

This subsidy is limited with only $500,000 available in each financial year.

Last Updated: 11th of February 2021
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Emergency Drought Transport Subsidy ClosedGrant Closed: 31st of December 2020 Value: Up to $40,000 Run By: Rural Assistance Authority Further Information: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/transport-subsidy-emergency-drought-relief

The subsidy is available to help with the cost of transporting: fodder, water to a property for stock or domestic use, stock to and from agistment, stock to sale or slaughter. For applications received from 1 July 2019 the subsidy also includes transporting of farm chemicals, fertiliser and seed to farms.

Last Updated: 2nd of November 2020
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Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme ClosedGrant Closed: 30th of June 2021 Value: Up to $25,000 Run By: Rural Assistance Authority Further Information: https://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/grants/emergency-water-infrastructure-rebate-scheme

This On-Farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate scheme is available to eligible primary producers who can claim a rebate of 25% of the cost for: new purchases, and installation of pipes, water storages and water pumps, de-silting dams, and associated power supplies such as generators.

Last Updated: 2nd of November 2020
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