Attorney-General Robert McClelland today announced that the Commonwealth Government will provide financial assistance to communities affected by the tornado and severe weather in Lennox Head yesterday.

Commonwealth assistance is being provided to New South Wales through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) and will apply to the natural disaster declared areas of Ballina and Byron shires.

Funding will include assistance for the restoration of essential public infrastructure and relief operations, including:

  • Personal hardship and distress (PHD) grants to low-income earners whose principal residence has been damaged. Enquiries should be directed to the NSW Department of Community Services on 1800 018 444.
  • Concessional loans of up to $130,000 for affected small businesses and primary producers. Enquiries should be directed to the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593;
  • Concessional loans of up to $25,000 for voluntary and non-profit organisations. Enquiries should be directed to NSW Treasury on (02) 9228 5198;
  • Road and rail freight subsidies of up to $15,000 to assist primary producers for the carriage of livestock and fodder. Enquiries should be directed to the NSW Industry and Investment office on 1800 814 647.

Mr McClelland said the Commonwealth, through Emergency Management Australia, will continue to work closely with New South Wales authorities, local government and community organisations to ensure that affected communities have all the support they need during this difficult period.