MEDIA RELEASE: Aitchison welcomes disaster funding

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison has welcomed the Natural Disaster declaration made for the Maitland local government area in the wake of violent storms and significant damage.

The declaration unlocks assistance through jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“Thunderstorms, high winds, flash flooding and torrential rain caused significant damage to parts of Maitland, including private residences in Metford and East Maitland, the East Maitland Little Athletics Metford facilities, Hunter Valley Grammar School, businesses and vehicles,” Ms Aitchison said.

“My office has received many calls and messages from people whose homes and livelihoods have been affected.

“Some of their properties were uninhabitable due to Monday’s storm event and I was able to work with them to assist in securing temporary emergency accommodation.”

According to the joint state/federal statement announcing the natural disaster declaration, assistance for eligible applicants may include:

  • Help for people whose homes or belongings have been damaged,

  • Support for Maitland City Council, to help with clean-up costs and damage to public assets,

  • Low-interests loans for small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations, and

  • Grants for non-profit organisations.

Ms Aitchison said that people who were uninsured or in receipt of low income might also be eligible for personal hardship and distress assistance.

“I am hopeful that today’s declaration will provide the support and relief that people need to recover,” Ms Aitchison said.

“Maitland people who are doing it tough in the wake of these violent storms can contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444, while people who wish to apply for a loan or grant should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.”

With further storm warnings in place, Ms Aitchison is encouraging anyone who has been affected by the recent weather events to contact her office ASAP on 4933 1617.

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