FARMERS making repairs after the latest floods might not have to come up with a $423 government application fee.
The NSW Government has waived application fees on any flood repair work that required approvals under the Water Management Act 2000, Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said today.
Ms Hodgkinson said significant areas of northern NSW had been badly affected with floods and the repair bill on top of production losses was a double hit for agricultural businesses.
"I am pleased we can provide these landholders some relief by waiving the fees of $423 for flood repair works," Ms Hodgkinson said.
"This is available to landholders who need to repair flood damage in and near water courses in areas with a natural disaster declaration, which may include repairing a river crossing or undertaking erosion control works."
Under the Water Management Act 2000, 'controlled activities' such as repairs to driveways which cross waterways, or removing debris or vegetation which may affect natural flows require approval from the NSW Office of Water.
Ms Hodgkinson said the licensing process ensures there is no damage to the environment or third party impacts, which is even more important following the floods.
"Applications for flood works are being processed as a priority by the NSW Office of Water and can normally be processed within three days following a property inspection," Ms Hodgkinson said.
The Office of Water can be contacted on 1800 353 104 for controlled activity applications.
Nineteen local government areas have been declared natural disaster areas, triggering a number of disaster assistance schemes to help with the cost of storm relief and recovery.
These disaster assistance schemes are made available by the NSW Government through the NSW Disaster Assistance Arrangements and they are jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
Flood affected farmers should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 to determine what assistance they can access.
Information on the range of assistance available under the NDRRA can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au.
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