Disaster assistance has been made available for the people affected by the bushfire in the local government area of Bega, which includes the Tathra and surrounding communities.
Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the bushfire has been heartbreaking for the Bega communities.
“Our thoughts are with the people whose homes and properties have been lost, as well as with the wider community that has been devastated by this bushfire,” Mr Taylor said.
“This was an extremely dangerous fire that threatened lives and has caused significant damage to property.
“Funding is available for a range of recovery measures to help individuals and families, as well as small businesses, primary producers and the local council.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the extreme heat and strong winds ensured the bushfire moved at a rapid speed forcing mass evacuations.
“Thankfully, there have been no reports of any lives lost at this time, however, a number of people have been treated for smoke inhalation,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Unfortunately, initial reports indicate that approximately 70 properties have been damaged or destroyed. We’ll know more in the coming days, but sadly estimates indicate a large number of houses in these small communities have been affected.
“There will also be broader impacts for the community and local businesses. A long, tough road lies ahead for these communities as they recover, and we want residents to know that the State and Commonwealth governments will be there to support people as they get back on their feet.”
Assistance available under the NDRRA 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.
The Commonwealth and NSW governments are assessing the impact of the fire and are committed to supporting the recovery of the affected communities.
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.
Source: Australian Government