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Canola field Central West NSW

2016 Flood Regional Recovery

2016 Flood Regional Recovery The devastation caused by the floods and natural disasters during 2016 has severely affected many parts of the NSW Central West region. We are committed to supporting the region’s recovery and ask that you share the following information widely.

The NSW Small Business Commissioner, Robyn Hobbs OAM and the Small Biz Connect bus will be in the regions from from 16-18 November 2016 to offer FREE specialist business advisory services to help flood-affected businesses get back on their feet. To book an appointment on the bus call 1300 134 359 or drop into the Small Biz Connect bus at the following locations between 9am and 3pm:

  • Wednesday 16 November – West Wyalong, 174 Main Street (outside the old Empire Hotel)
  • Thursday 17 November  – Condobolin, Renown Park (cnr of Bathurst St and McDonnell St)
  • Friday 18 November – Forbes, Lachlan St (outside Ambulance Station)

All small businesses in the region are asked to complete this online survey from the NSW Department of Industry in order to assess the impact of floods to local economies – please spread the word www.surveymonkey.com/r/RecoverySept16 

Farmers are encouraged to report all flood damage (including agricultural losses, crops and stranded, injured or deceased livestock) to their Local Land Service on 1300 795 299 in order to assess the extent of damage and organise assistance where necessary.

Business Information Sheets: 

Download the NSW Disaster Assistance Schemes

Download the Support for Small Businesses Affected by Storms and Floods

Download the ATO Natural Disaster Fact Sheet

Download the Natural Disaster Declared Areas – August 2016

Health Information Sheets: 

Download the After Flood Cleanup Advice – Community Information

Download the Taking Care of Our Health and Wellbeing Following a Natural Disaster Factsheet

Download the Useful Sources of Mental Health Information Factsheet

Download the How Are You Going Test

Download the Mosquito Mitigation brochure

Useful Sources of Mental Health Information

Your GP is always a good place to start. They can do physical assessments to make sure there is not something else going on, and work on a mental health care plan if needed. They also refer to other local services.

Community Health may have a psychologist, social worker or counsellor who you can talk to, or the service will have information about other local services available.

The local hospital is open 24 hours and can be used in cases of an emergency.

Rural Adversity Mental Health Program (RAMHP) Coordinators (business hours, non-crisis):

  • Canowindra: 0427 460 430
  • Dubbo: 0419 266 493

Rural Financial Counselling Services (RFCS) 

The Rural Financial Counselling Service NSW provides free and impartial financial counselling to eligible primary producers, fishers and small rural businesses who are suffering financial hardship. This includes support to manage the challenges of change and adjustment.

  • Central region contacts: Ph: 1800 940 404
  • Forbes : Robert Muffet – 0458 523 837, Patrick Crowe – 0488 304 590
  • Dubbo : John Jones – 0427 439 481, Andrew Turnbull- 0419 402 295

Local Public Health Unit

  • Bathurst Office – 02 6330 5880 

Emergency Services

  • Emergency Services (if person or others in danger): 000
  • State Emergency Service (SES): 132 500

Small Business support services:

  • NSW Disaster Assistance Guidelines 
  • NSW Rural Assistance Authority 1800 678 593
  • Disaster Welfare Assistance Line 1800 018 444
  • Small Biz Connect 1300 134 359 (free mobile advisory service to help manage cash flow and discuss access to support schemes
  • Australian Taxation Office 13 11 42
  • Office of the Small Business Commissioner 1300 795 534
  • Insurance Council of Australia 1300 728 228
  • Department of Primary Industries Hotline 1800 814 647
  • SafeWork NSW 13 10 50
  • Service NSW 13 77 88
  • Motor Vehicle Stamp Duty Relief 1300 139 814
  • Legal Aid NSW 1300 888 529
  • NSW Fair Trading 13 32 20

NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements 

There are currently 21 LGA’s  able to receive National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) and those in the Central West region include: Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Forbes, Lachlan, Orange, Parkes [updates may be announced].

Disaster Assistance for Individuals –  NSW Department of Justice – 1800 018 444 – (No Natural Disaster Declaration Required) The Department of Justice can provide disaster relief grants to eligible individuals and families whose homes and essential household items have been destroyed or damaged by a natural disaster.

Primary Producers Loans : NSW Rural Assistance Authority – 1800 678 593 (Natural Disaster Declaration Required) Transport freight subsidies of up to 50 percent on the carriage of livestock and fodder are available to help primary producers, with the exception of fodder/supplements for dairy cattle, which only attracts a subsidy of 25 percent. The maximum subsidy available is $15,000 per annum.

Small Businesses : NSW Rural Assistance Authority – 1800 678 593 (Natural Disaster Declaration Required) Loans of up to $130,000 are available at a concessional rate to small businesses affected by disasters and which meet certain eligibility criteria. This finance is available to those unable to obtain assistance through normal channels.

Assistance for Councils : 

The Department of Finance, Services & Innovation (NSW Public Works) – (02) 9372 8871 (Natural Disaster Declaration Required) Grants are available to meet certain additional costs of emergency work to restore essential services, including the provision of emergency levee banks, which are in excess of normal operations. Grants are available to meet 100 percent of eligible emergency works and 75 percent of eligible restorations works up to $116,000 with 100 percent cost recovery beyond that level.

NSW Roads and Maritime Services – (02) 8588 5960 (Natural Disaster Declaration Required) Grants are available to help Councils to permanently restore roads and bridges to pre-disaster standards. These grants meet 75 percent of the first $116,000 expenditure and 100 percent beyond that level for Local Roads. Grants are provided for 100 percent of assessed value of work for Regional Roads.

Plus more for Trustees of Parks & Reserves, Sporting & Recreation Clubs, and Churches & Voluntary Non-profit Organisations [see above factsheet on NSW Disaster Assistance Schemes]

Phone Helplines

  • Mental Health Line: 1800 011 511
  • Drug & Alcohol Helpline: 1300 887 000
  • MensLine: 1300 78 99 78
  • Kid’s Helpline: 1800 55 1800
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • Alcohol & Drug Info Service (ADIS): 1800 422 599
  • Suicide Callback Service: 1300 659 467

Useful Websites

Toolkit for improved Resilience to Natural Disasters

The Resilient Community Organisations toolkit put together by ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Service) provides a 6-step process and benchmarking system to help improve resilience and recovery to future disaster events. There is also a self-evaluation survey available and plenty of templates and resources available to assist businesses and organisations.

Taking Care of Health and Wellbeing

  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Try to get back to a routine
  • Continue a health lifestyle (eating, sleeping, exercise)
  • Take time out but don’t isolate yourself
  • Write down your worries and concerns
  • Express your feelings in your own time and way
  • Accept help when it is offered
  • Limit the amount of media coverage you are exposed to
  • Don’t expect to have all the answers
  • Understand you are not alone in your experience

Professional assistance is recommended when

  • The level of distress feels extreme
  •  The emotional reactions are lasting too long (>4 weeks)
  • The distress interferes with the ability to participate in day to day activities
  • Withdrawal from usual relationships
  • Feeling overwhelming fear for no apparent reason
  • Panic symptoms
  • Avoiding things that bring back memories to the point that day to day activities cannot be carried out
  • Excessive guilt
  • Loss of interest in the future
  • Thoughts of self harm or suicide

Tips for staying mentally healthy:

  • Stay connected to family and friends.
  • Eat well; get plenty of sleep and exercise.
  • Be careful of excess alcohol intake and avoid other drugs.
  • Manage your stress. Make sure you take a break and make time for fun.