Disaster assistance available for Cessnock

The recent rainfall has prompted the Federal and NSW Governments to announce disaster assistance funding to local government areas in NSW who have been impacted by the recent severe storms and flooding.

Cessnock is the only LGA locally of the 23 to become eligible for the funding. The Central Coast has also become eligible for funding.

Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt, said the assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“We have seen some of these impacted communities being hit by floods for a third and fourth time in 18 months, which is extremely distressing to the residents of these communities,” Minister Watt said.

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, said significant recovery support would be required to help support communities once the major weather event passes.

“While we are still very much in the emergency response phase of this developing weather event, as waters recede we will work with communities to assess longer term recovery needs and ensure appropriate long-term support is provided.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply);
  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged road and essential public assets;
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; and
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

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.

A Severe Weather Warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds is in place for parts of the Hunter, particularly Maitland, Cessnock and Dungog.

The Bureau of Meteorology said a trough over the central coast is causing moderate to possibly heavy rainfall at times. Rainfall rates are forceast to east during Tuesday morning.

Localised moderate to heavy rainfall which may lead to flash flooding remains possible Tuesday morning over parts of the Hunter district. Isolated three-hourly rainfall totals between 40 to 65 mm are possible.

Damaging winds averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts up to 90 km/h are possible along the northern Metropolitan and southern Hunter coastal fringe, with an easing trend Tuesday morning. The damaging winds may lead to debris on roads and provide the risk for trees toppling in softer and very saturated soils.

Rainfall will further contribute to flooding already being experienced and maintains the potential for landslides.

If you need the SES assistance call 132 500, if you life is in danger call Triple 000.

Image: Wollombi Tavern Facebook page, Cathie Books