February 2001


Following the recent flooding many approaches have been made to my office regarding assistance. The NSW Rural Assistance Authority administers the Disaster Relief Scheme for Small Businesses. The purpose is to provide assistance to meet the minimum reasonable & necessary carry-on requirements, replace losses and carry out repairs, not covered by insurance, as a result of flood/fire/hail etc damage.

Finance is a loan up to a maximum of $80,000 with fixed rate of interest, presently 4% for the term of the loan. The maximum term is 10 years that may be preceded by a 2 year interest only period. The term of loan will be dependent on amount and serviceability.

Assistance is provided to meet;
Essential working capital - the minimum amount required to allow you to carry out your normal business operations for the next 12 months.
Eligible items - immediate living expenses; operating expenses such as employee's wage etc; current years rates; rental for leased premises essential to your business need.
Replace/Repair property and or improvements - damage to premises (owner/occupier); fixtures & fittings; stock.
This assistance is not compensatory by nature and as such loss of trade or income is not covered by this assistance.

Further enquiries and questions can be made direct to an assessor at the Rural Assistance Authority on tollfree 1800 678 593 and application forms are available upon request.

Following the Casino storms and the flooding, I have received a number of enquiries in relation to insurance claims. There is a General Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Scheme that is a national Scheme for consumers aimed at resolving disputes between insureds and their insurance companies and it also provides free advice and information about any general insurance matter. Contact can be made tollfree on 1300 363 683, or or by writing to 3/56 Pitt Street, Sydney.


As outlined in a previous Better Business article, expressions of interest are being called for the second round of funding and anyone interested in applying can obtain a copy upon request. Closing date is 30 April 2001.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.