Special Disaster Grants – Storms & Floods

Disaster recovery grants of up to $75,000 are now available to primary producers in LGAs affected by the
NSW storms and floods that have occurred from 10 March 2021.

To find out if you are eligible view the LGAs affected and the Guidelines below:

Date of Declaration

Disaster recovery grants available in Local Government Areas

Closing date

26 March 2021

Armidale, Bellingen, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Cumberland, Canterbury Bankstown, Dungog, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Kempsey, Ku-ring-gai, Lake Macquarie City, Liverpool, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Sutherland, Tenterfield, The Hills, Wollondilly, Bathurst, Bega Valley, Byron, Eurobodalla, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir, Inverell, Kyogle, Lismore, Moree Plains, Richmond Valley, Tweed, Wingecarribee, Ballina, Brewarrina, Cabonne, Cobar, Gilgandra, Gunnedah, Lachlan, Lithgow, Liverpool Plains, Narrabri, Oberon, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Walcha, Walgett

31 October 2021


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Primary producers - free confidential assistance is available from your local Rural Financial Counselling Service.

You can also give the RAA permission to work with your own private financial advisor or accountant to assist you, however you will be liable for any professional fees charged. Contact the Rural Assistance Authority team on 1800 678 593.

The application process


Find out what you can apply for
What you will need
Apply online or manually
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Primary Producers

The Special Disaster Grant – Storms & Floods 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 – Floods guidelines (PDF, 306.07 KB).

Small Business

Grants of up to $50,000 for eligible small business owners and not-for-profit organisations are available through Service NSW.

For more information contact the Disaster Customer Care Service on 13 77 88 or visit the Service NSW website.

Applicants must provide a complete application form 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, photos or tax invoices.

If you have previously submitted tax returns to the NSW RAA for the financial year 2017/2018 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.

To complete a manual application form, firstly download the form and save it to your computer. Submit your completed application form to the RAA with all the information requested.

You will need:

  • BP reference number
  • ABN number
  • Case number from original application
  • Invoices

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 – NSW Floods & Storms? 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 the NSW Floods & Storms 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 October 2021; and
  • intend to re-establish the primary production enterprise.

The list of eligibility criteria is available here .

How do I prove storm and/or flood damage? To make it easier for you to apply, the RAA has access to third party damage assessment information, for example high-resolution imagery, to confirm the extent of the impacts in declared storm & flood-affected local government areas in NSW.

However, it is important that you provide reasonable evidence of storm and/or flood damage with your application so we can fully assess your situation. Some examples include:

  • Quotes or estimates for works to completed
  • Tax invoices of expenses incurred for clean up or salvage works already completed following the storms and floods which commenced on 10 March 2021.
  • Photos taken of damaged property with time, date and location stamps. These are not mandatory however will assist us to assess your claim

How much can I claim, and do I need to repay the grant? Up to $75,000 can be claimed per affected property that is operated by eligible separate businesses, 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.

What evidence do I need to provide to receive payment of the grant? A total of $75,000 is available for primary producers. Funds of up to $15,000 will be provided to eligible, approved applicants, without the need to provide evidence of payment at the point of application. Such funds can be provided on the basis of quotes or estimates,

If you have applied for more than $15,000 you will be required to provide proof of payment such as valid tax invoices for both the first $15,000, as well as any amount that you want to be reimbursed for over $15,000 up to the maximum of $75,000.

Do I need to provide proof of payment of the $75,000 upfront? You can elect to provide proof of payment such as invoices for the full $75,000 or you can choose to do this in stages as you incur the cost.

After your grant application has been approved you can submit additional invoices for reimbursement – click here.

Case Study 1 – Claiming $15,000 in damages

Mr and Mrs Jones are cattle farmers.

On 15 March their property sustained minor damage to fences along the riverbank and based on their own estimates of likely costs, they are submitting an application for $15,000 under the Special Disaster Storms & Floods Grant.

The Jones are yet to pay for any clean-up costs and therefore don’t have to attach any quotes or invoices to their application.

RAA uses satellite photos to verify the damage to the Jones’ property and the application is approved as they meet all the other eligibility criteria.

The payment of $15,000 is paid into their bank account upon approval of the application.

Summary: The Jones do not need to supply any confirmation of proof of payment as they do not require assistance greater than $15,001.

However, the Jones know they need to keep records of proof of payment should they be audited by the RAA on behalf of the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

Case Study 2 – Claiming for $75,000 in damages

Mr. & Mrs. Smith are orchardists.

Their property was significantly damaged by floods which impacted their property over three days from 15 March.

They have assessed the damage and submit an application for $75,000 under the Special Disaster Grant on 6 April.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith are also yet to pay for any clean-up costs and therefore they don’t need to send any invoices with their application.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s application is approved on 15 April as they meet the eligibility criteria, and the payment of $15,000 is paid on that day.

Two weeks pass by and Mr. & Mrs. Smith have spent the initial $15,000 paid under the grant.

In addition they have also spent another $10,000 on clean-up costs.

To receive their next payments under the approved grant they submit a copy of the invoices/receipts for the initial payment of $15,000 received on 15 April, as well as the extra $10,000 in receipts/invoices that they have already paid.

These invoices can be submitted via this LINK.

Once the RAA reviews the proof of payment provided by the Smiths the next payment of $10,000 will be made.

As Mr and Mrs Smith continue to incur costs associated with the clean-up and recovery of their primary production business, they can submit proof of payment following the above steps and the RAA with reimburse payment up to the maximum amount of $75,000.

Summary: The Smiths have provided receipts for all the clean up work they undertook up to the value of $75,000. Although they don’t need to keep these invoices or receipts, as RAA has copies, they know at some point they may be asked to demonstrate the costs were necessary for the clean up resulting from the floods which occurred from 10 March 2021.

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 01 April 2021 until 31 October 202

Small Business

Service NSW is taking applications for the recently announced NSW Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation Grant of up to $50,000. 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:

a) Hiring or leasing equipment or materials to clean premises, property or equipment.

b) Removing and disposing of debris, damaged goods, materials including injured or dead livestock.

c) Repairing or replacing fencing and/or other essential property infrastructure.

d) Purchasing and transporting fodder or feed for livestock.

e) Replacing livestock.

f) Replacing lost or damaged plants, salvaging crops, repairing or restoring fields.

g) Repairing, reconditioning or replacing essential plant or equipment.

h) Maintaining the health of livestock

i) Paying additional wages to an employee to assist with clean-up work (above and beyond normal wage expenditure, ie. day-              to-day staffing)

j) Repairing buildings (except dwellings, unless they are used for staff accommodation).

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.

Can I claim for the hours I spend on cleaning up and repairing the business? You can claim for third parties including independent contractors to help with clean up and repair. When it comes to paying staff, the time of owners or shareholders in the business cannot be claimed. You can, however, claim the hours of employees who have no ownership role in the business, where you can show that those hours are above standard day to day wages and can be explained on the basis of cleaning up and repairs in relation to the natural disaster event.

We understand the drought may have impacted your primary production income. You can still 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%.

EXAMPLE 1 – Oyster Farming

The Smith’s (not real name) oyster farm was impacted by the floods of March 2021. They lost juvenile and mature stock and oyster farming infrastructure, and oyster sheds were damaged together with equipment including a forklift and a grading machine. Equipment was also lost from the sheds including trays and baskets.

The Smith’s want to know if the Special Disaster Grant (Flood) can help them get back on their feet.

  • Are the Sims in a Local Government Area that was declared a natural disaster? (YES)
  • Does the Sims’ business earn more than 50% of its gross income from oyster production? (YES)
  • Is oyster farming regarded as primary production under the ANZSIC code? (YES)

The Sims may be eligible for the Special Disaster Grant (Flood), and can use the funds toward*:

  • Engagement of contractors to help with clean up
  • Payment of wages above normal wage expenditure
  • Clean-up of damaged oyster leases
  • Repairing the forklift
  • Contributing to the cost of a new grading machine
  • Paying for labour for clean-up and repairs
  • Purchase of new spat
  • Purchase of lost oyster farming infrastructure

EXAMPLE 2 – Turf Farming

Bob Green (not real name) is a turf farmer who lost a years’ income when his farm was inundated by the floods of 2021.

Bob would like to use the Special Disaster Grant (Flood) to help clean up his damaged farm and sow a new crop. He wants to know, is he eligible, and what can he use the funds for?

  • Is Bob in a Local Government Area that was declared as a natural disaster? (YES)
  • Does Bob’s business earn more than 50% of its gross income from turf farming? (YES)
  • Is turf farming regarded as primary production under the ANZSIC code? (YES)

Bob may be eligible for the Special Disaster Grant (Flood), and will be able to use the funds to:

  • Clean up the damaged turf
  • Buy new turf seed or runners
  • Pay for fuel of the re-planting machines
  • Pay for labour for re-planting expenses
  • Pay for replacement or repair of any equipment that was damaged through the floods
* Please note, these are examples only, and an applicant could use funds for a range of other activities – please talk with the RAA if you’re unsure about what you can claim.

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;

  • 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, photos 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 2017/2018 or more recently, you will not need to provide further information.

What if I haven't been in business long enough for my business to achieve 50% production yet? The RAA will look at your situation. Some businesses will take a shorter period of time to achieve full production (eg beef cattle) while others will take longer (eg. orchards). We will review your financial statements and look for a trend toward the timeline to full production that fits for your industry.

Case Study 1 – Claiming $15,000 in damages

Mr and Mrs Jones are cattle farmers.

On 15 March their property sustained minor damage to fences along the riverbank and based on their own estimates of likely costs, they are submitting an application for $15,000 under the Special Disaster Flood Grant.

The Jones are yet to pay for any clean-up costs and therefore don’t have to attach any quotes or invoices to their application.

RAA uses satellite photos to verify the damage to the Jones’ property and the application is approved as they meet all the other eligibility criteria.

The payment of $15,000 is paid into their bank account upon approval of the application.

Summary: The Jones do not need to supply any confirmation of proof of payment as they do not require assistance greater than $15,001.

However, the Jones know they need to keep records of proof of payment should they be audited by the RAA on behalf of the NSW and Commonwealth Governments.

Case Study 2 – Claiming for $75,000 in damages

Mr. & Mrs. Smith are orchardists.

Their property was significantly damaged by floods which impacted their property over three days from 15 March.

They have assessed the damage and submit an application for $75,000 under the Special Disaster Grant on 6 April.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith are also yet to pay for any clean-up costs and therefore they don’t need to send any invoices with their application.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s application is approved on 15 April as they meet the eligibility criteria, and the payment of $15,000 is paid on that day.

Two weeks pass by and Mr. & Mrs. Smith have spent the initial $15,000 paid under the grant.

In addition they have also spent another $10,000 on clean-up costs.

To receive their next payments under the approved grant they submit a copy of the invoices/receipts for the initial payment of $15,000 received on 15 April, as well as the extra $10,000 in receipts/invoices that they have already paid.

These invoices can be submitted via this LINK.

Once the RAA reviews the proof of payment provided by the Smiths the next payment of $10,000 will be made.

As Mr and Mrs Smith continue to incur costs associated with the clean-up and recovery of their primary production business, they can submit proof of payment following the above steps and the RAA with reimburse payment up to the maximum amount of $75,000.

Summary: The Smiths have provided receipts for all the clean up work they undertook up to the value of $75,000. Although they don’t need to keep these invoices or receipts, as RAA has copies, they know at some point they may be asked to demonstrate the costs were necessary for the clean up resulting from the floods which occurred from 10 March 2021.

If you have difficulty understanding the guidelines or completing the application form you should seek the assistance of your rural/financial counsellor, business advisor, accountant or a trusted family member/friend. If you need assistance with interpreting or translating, please contact Multicultural NSW on 1300 651 500 or email languageservices@multicultural.nsw.gov.au.