Posted September 29th, 2023

Several constituents in the Myall Lakes area have raised concerns regarding the looming deadline for the Special Disaster Grant for severe weather and flooding. The grant, which covers incidents from February 2022 onwards, is set to close on September 30, 2023, leaving many residents and farmers struggling to meet the invoice submission requirements.

The concerns voiced by the residents revolve around the need for additional time to complete the necessary repairs and restoration projects, given various obstacles such as supply chain delays, invoice processing delays and the unavailability of contractors due to the overwhelming demand for flood repairs.

A beef farmer in the region, emphasised the financial constraints placed on farmers, saying, “The problem is that the farmer has to have the money upfront to spend on flood repairs before we are reimbursed the money.”

Another affected constituent, expressed her family’s struggle to complete essential work on their farm, explaining that her son called the Rural Assistance Authority to follow up on an unpaid invoice and was told there was a 4-6 week waiting period for processing.

The Rural Assistance Authority (RAA), responsible for administering these grants, has responded to the constituents’ requests, explaining, “We appreciate the challenges that primary producers are currently facing in order to get the work completed by the due date. Unfortunately, the RAA has no ability to extend on this date or accept any invoices for this grant after the close date of midnight 30/09/2023.”

In response to these concerns, Tanya Thompson, Member for Myall Lakes, stated, “Our community is facing unprecedented challenges, and the current deadline for the Special Disaster Grant simply doesn’t align with the realities on the ground. I have escalated this matter to the relevant authorities to seek a compassionate reconsideration of the extension request.”

“With the looming deadline and mounting pressures on affected constituents, the Minister needs to step in urgently and show the people of Regional NSW that there is support here when they need it.” Mrs Thompson said.

“It’s not a big ask and shouldn’t take this long to respond to.” Mrs Thompson concluded.

Minister for Regional New South Wales, Tara Moriarty is yet to respond.

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