Shorten visits disaster claim centre as payments hit $340m in 3 days for flood affected NSW

Almost 415,000 people affected by the severe storms and flooding in New South Wales (NSW) have received more than $340 million in Australian Government disaster assistance, with Services Australia staff continuing to process claims across the weekend.

The figures come as Minister for Government Services the Hon Bill Shorten MP visited the Services Australia Liverpool Smart Centre today to get a briefing on support activities and to thank staff who are assessing and granting claims in real time.

“This extraordinary flow of much needed financial support demonstrates that Australians can rely on the Government in times of great crisis,” Minister Shorten said.

“The Government is working quickly to provide much needed support on the ground.

“The fact these payments have been delivered in under three days is a great credit to Services Australia staff working around the clock to get the payments out the door.”

Services Australia staff and the technology behind myGov have played a major part in supporting people living in flood affected areas of NSW.

“The staff I’ve spoken to say they are just some of the people who are helping flood-affected NSW residents get back on their feet,” Minister Shorten said.

“The commitment to help out their fellow Australians is tangible – they have been working tirelessly since Thursday to ensure claims are processed as quickly as possible.”

Services Australia also has support staff on the ground helping people at recovery centres/assistance points at Camden in south-west Sydney, Mardi on the Central Coast, and Wisemans Ferry in the Hawkesbury region.

Social workers, Indigenous and multicultural service officers, along with Farm Household Case Officers are also providing counselling and referrals for those in hardship.

Minister Shorten said disaster assistance payments are now available to affected people in a total of 29 local government areas.

“Yesterday, the Australian Government extended this support to people in the local government areas of Bayside, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Singleton and Upper Lachlan,” Minister Shorten said.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child for people who live in those LGAs and who have suffered a significant loss as a result of the floods, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or a serious injury. 

The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) supports employees and sole traders who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster and is payable for a maximum of 13 weeks.

The fastest and simplest way to claim is online through myGov. Extended phone support through the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66 is also available this weekend from 9am to 4pm.

More information about the payments, including all eligible local government areas is available at: