Special Disaster Grant - Bushfires

Date of Declaration

Disaster recovery grants available in Local Government Areas

Closing date

21 January - 1 February 2020Armidale, Ballina, Bega Valley, Bellingen, Blue Mountains, Byron, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Eurobodalla, Glen Innes Severn, Goulburn Mulwaree, Greater Hume, Gwydir, Hawkesbury, Inverell, Kempsey, Ku-ring-gai, Kyogle, Lake Macquarie, Lismore, Lithgow, Mid-Coast, Mid-Western, Muswellbrook, Nambucca, Narrabri, Oberon, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Richmond Valley, Singleton, Shoalhaven, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Sutherland, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Tweed, Upper Hunter, Upper Lachlan, Uralla, Wagga Wagga, Walcha, Wingecarribee and Wollondilly31 July 2020

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The application process

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What you will need
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Primary Producers

The Special Disaster Grant - Bushfires is available to eligible primary producers, following the declaration of a Natural Disaster by the NSW Government and approval of the Australian Government. This assistance measure is only provided in event of Natural Disasters that have severely affected communities, regions or sectors.

View the Special Disaster Grant - Bushfires Guidelines (PDF, 236.78 KB)

Small Business

Service NSW is taking applications for the recently announced NSW Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation Grant of up to $50,000. This new grant replaces the previous $15,000 disaster recovery grant for small business which was administered by the RAA. If you have already applied for the $15,000 grant, your application will be assessed as a priority and you can apply for additional funding (up to a total of $50,000, to cover expenses not already claimed) under the new grant. Please visit the Service NSW website

Applicants must provide a complete application form and:

  • must include photographic evidence of the direct bushfire-related impacts; and
  • Local Government rates notice and Local Land Services rates notice; and
  • latest farm business tax returns and financial statements plus Personal Tax Return of all members of the business; and/or
  • may include other evidence such as quotes, estimates or tax invoices.

If you have previously submitted tax returns to the NSW RAA for the financial year 2016/2017 or more recently, you will not need to provide further information. If we do not have your previous financial information, we will seek your permission to contact your accountant directly if this is easiest for you.

The online application form has been designed to make the process as simple as possible. We recommend that you have all scanned documents ready to upload before starting the process. We recommend that you use the Google Chrome browser.

If you prefer to download a hard copy of the form, download the manual form and submit with all information requested.

 

For further assistance, please contact us on 1800 678 593 or email us rural.assist@raa.nsw.gov.au.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Special Disaster Grant - Bushfires? The grant for eligible primary producers is up to $75,000 and is designed to help pay for immediate clean-up and repairs to infrastructure.

What’s the easiest way to apply for the grant? The easiest way to receive your grant is to apply online.

Who can apply for the grant? Primary producers who have been directly impacted by bushfires in declared Local Government Areas can apply for this $75,000 grant. To be eligible for the grant, you must:

  • be a primary producer; and
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the disaster; and
  • have a primary production enterprise located in the defined area for the eligible disaster that has suffered direct damage as a result of the eligible disaster; and
  • have been engaged in carrying on the primary production enterprise when affected by the eligible disaster; and
  • have lodged an application on or before 31 July, 2020; and
  • intend to re-establish the primary production enterprise.

The full complete list of eligibility criteria is available here.

How much can I claim and do I need to repay the grant? A total of $75,000 per affected property can be claimed by eligible primary producers to help with costs associated with immediate clean-up and repairs to infrastructure. This is a grant and not a loan, meaning you don’t need to repay the funds.

Is the $75,000 on top of the $15,000 grants announced before? A total of $75,000 is available for primary producers, this amount includes the $15,000 Disaster Recovery Grant previously announced in November 2019.

Is the grant applied per business or property? The grant is per affected property. Some primary producers will be entitled to multiple grants if they have multiple properties within the affected LGA’s. A separate application is required for each property.

How long do I have to apply? The Grant is open from 21 January 2020 until 31st July 2020.

Is the grant a one-off payment? The grant is available up to the limit of $75,000. This can be claimed all at once or through multiple payments.

Small Business

Service NSW is taking applications for the recently announced NSW Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation Grant of up to $50,000. This new grant replaces the previous $15,000 disaster recovery grant for small business which was administered by the RAA. If you have already applied for the $15,000 grant, your application will be assessed as a priority and you can apply for additional funding (up to a total of $50,000, to cover expenses not already claimed) under the new grant. Please visit the Service NSW website

Primary Producers

The Special Disaster Grant - Bushfires is designed to help primary producers pay for immediate clean-up and repairs to infrastructure.  Eligible claims may cover:

  • Hiring, leasing or purchase of equipment and/or materials to undertake clean-up
  • Additional labour costs (above and beyond normal wage expenditure, i.e. day-to-day staffing)
  • Disposing of damaged goods and injured or dead livestock, including associated costs
  • Repairing a building or repairing or replacing fittings in a building, if the repair or replacement is essential for resuming operation of the primary production enterprise. (Funding is not available for repairs to a building that is used as a dwelling, unless it is used for carrying on the primary production enterprise, for example staff accommodation)
  • Repairing or replacing fencing and horticultural netting (not covered by other assistance)
  • Reconditioning/repairing essential plant and equipment, including repairing damage to, or replacing, water tanks, de-silting dams, water reticulation systems, forestry equipment, aquaculture and fishing equipment
  • Salvaging (but not replacing) crops, grain, feed, fertiliser and timber
  • Health assessment, treatment and maintenance for livestock, poultry and aquaculture species
  • Purchase of fodder, grain, and feeds for livestock and poultry and supplementary pollen or pollen substitute, and/or stock agistment costs, and associated transport costs (not covered by other assistance)
  • Purchase or hire/lease costs for equipment essential to the immediate resumption of the business (e.g. energy equipment such as generators and solar panels for non-residential purposesReplacement of essential water used for firefighting purposes
  • Water cartage
  • Payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections.

Can I use this grant to buy replacement livestock? No, this grant is for immediate clean up and repairs to infrastructure. For replacement livestock, eligible producers may apply for Disaster Relief Loans. The Disaster Relief low interest loans are up to $130,000 and may be used to purchase replacement livestock lost in bushfire. This low interest rate loan can help a farm business to:

  • continue to operate your farm businesses for the next twelve months or until the next income is received
  • replace and repair damage caused to the property and associated improvements not covered by insurance.

Can I use the grant to buy replacement machinery and plant that was damaged? Yes you can use the Grant to cover the repair or replacement costs of agricultural equipment.

Can I claim the loss of income? No, the grant cannot be used to reimburse the loss of income.

I have off-farm income. How will this impact my eligibility? We understand the drought may have impacted your primary production income. Where you have less than $100K off-farm income, you can be eligible for this grant if you provide cashflow or financials from a ‘normal year’ showing your primary production income would be greater than 50% .

Am I eligible for assistance if I am an apiarist? Yes apiarists are eligible to apply for assistance as bees are considered ‘livestock’ under the definition of Primary Producers per Clause 7 of the Guidelines.

Can I apply for the grant before I have incurred expenses? Yes, application forms can be completed online before costs are claimed.

What information do I need to provide with my application? 

Applicants must provide a complete application form and;

  • must include photographic evidence of the direct bushfire-related impacts; an,
  • Local Government rates notice and Local Land Services rates notice; and
  • latest farm business tax returns and financial statements plus Personal Tax Return of all members of the business; and/or
  • may include other evidence such as quotes, estimates or tax invoices.

What do I do if I don’t have my current tax returns? You can provide permission for the NSW RAA to contact your accountant directly to obtain them.

Do I need to provide financial statements if I am an existing RAA customer? If you have previously submitted tax returns to the NSW RAA for the financial year 2016/2017 or more recently, you will not need to provide further information.