Thursday, May 30, 2024

Hills Shire declared natural disaster zone

The Hills Shire has been declared a natural disaster area in the wake of the recent rain and floods that impacted most of NSW between 4 – 6 April.

The announcement activates an automatic release of Federal and State funding for The Hills Shire Council to use on cleanup and essential infrastructure repairs, including roads and community facilities.

Mayor, Peter Gangemi thanked the Australian and NSW Governments for their support as the clean-up and repairs begin, particularly in the Shire’s rural north.  

“Flood waters are now receding, roads are re-opening, and we are beginning to see the impacts these floods and heavy rain have caused,” Mayor Gangemi said.

“McClymonts Road in Maraylya is one of our worst-hit roads, with some of it washed away by flood waters. Approximately 60-80 tonnes of silt and fallen trees must be removed before we can reconstruct this road.

“Potholes are beginning to appear across our entire road network. The weather has also delayed road upgrades, including the one at Terry Road in Box Hill.

“We are experiencing a certain level of battle fatigue, and this State and Federal Government support is the helping hand our community needs.

“I look forward to moving towards our path to recovery, which unfortunately marks the fifth instance we’ve had to undertake flood cleanup and repairs within just a few years.”

Residents can also access a range of funding and support programs to help them recover and rebuild, including:

1. Primary producers and small businesses can access concessional loans up to $130,000, as well as transport subsidies up to $15,000;

2. Sporting and recreation clubs can access concessional loans up to $12,000 and grants up to $2,000;

3. Not-for-profit organisations can access concessional loans up to $25,000 and freight subsidies for primary producers.

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

In addition, residents can apply for Disaster Relief Grants to support their recovery and return to a basic living standard. For further information on how to access funding and support, visit the Australian Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Agency: https://recovery.gov.au/NSWflood.

For support with personal hardship, emergency accommodation and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

A Recovery Centre will be open at Windsor Function Centre, in Windsor, until Saturday 13 April.

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