Community and volunteer groups will be eligible for new grants to help re-establish services impacted by the recent floods in the Northern Rivers under a $13.3 million assistance package announced by the NSW Government.
Minister for Families and Communities Natasha Maclaren-Jones said the funding will be rolled out from next month and will be spent over two years to boost community-led recovery efforts.
“We know these community and neighbourhood centres are at the heart of our towns and villages delivering much needed services on the ground,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“That’s why this money is going to help them get back on their feet after suffering damage and loss of vital equipment during the floods.”
The boost will help large, medium, small and hyperlocal community and volunteer-based organisations meet the increased need for a range of services.
“Non-government organisations are experiencing a high demand for support while also trying to restore their services following the floods,” Mrs Maclaren-Jones said.
“Just a few weeks ago I was up here meeting with flood-affected NGOs, and we have already been working with these organisations to deliver services and community support.
“The road to recovery is long and this funding builds on our commitment to ensure these organisations are helped so that they, in turn, can support the community with practical assistance.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the funding will help services in the local government areas of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.
“This support will help community and volunteer non-government organisations keep on-the-ground local recovery services operating where they are needed most,” Ms Cooke said.
“The additional funding will help provide family and youth support services, domestic violence and homelessness support services, supports for people with a disability and seniors, and support for local Aboriginal communities.”
Mid Richmond Neighbourhood Centre General Manager Rachel McNaught said the NSW Government support will help provide essential community services in the Northern Rivers region.
“We met the Minister recently and explained how we’ve been impacted by the floods and today’s announcement is welcome news,” Ms McNaught said.
“It guarantees vital services so that our communities can be assured that we are there to help them in challenging times. That’s what being part of a community is all about, the knowledge that we are in this together.”
Funding will be progressively rolled out from 1 July 2022. Further information on how to apply for funding is here: https://dcj.nsw.gov.au/service-providers/grants/ngoflood-support-program.html.