Recently I join forces with Federal Minister for Justice Michael Keenan to announce disaster assistance in response to the recent bushfires that have ravished New South Wales and the Dubbo electorate.
The Dubbo and Mid-Western councils affected by the bushifre from January 12 are one of 10 local government areas to receive disaster relief.
I am committed ensuring disaster affected receive the support they need to recover as quickly as possible to help these communities with the cost of recovery.
Assistance is available in the local government areas of Bathurst, Bland Shire, Cessnock, Dubbo Regional, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Maitland, Mid-Western Regional, Penrith, Queanbeyan-Palerang and Yass Valley.
Assistance available under the NDRRA may include:
- Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged
- Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets
- Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations
- Freight subsidies for primary producers
- Grants to eligible non-profit organisations.
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.
To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit raa.nsw.gov.au. Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.au and the New South Wales emergency information and response website at www.emergency.nsw.gov.au
CTP GREEN SLIP REFORM
Last year the New South Wales Government undertook a comprehensive review of the current scheme that has now been in place for over 16 years. The review found that the Green Slip system is failing people injured on our roads, and becoming unaffordable for NSW motorists.
Currently, only 45 cents in every dollar collected by CTP insurers actually goes to those it was designed to support - injured people. Worse still, people injured in motor accidents can wait on average three to five years to receive substantial payments under the current CTP scheme, and even longer in some cases. At the same time, Green Slip premiums in NSW have increased by 85% in the past decade and are now the most expensive in Australia. They are likely to climb further unless the Government reforms the scheme. Following extensive community and stakeholder consultation, we are proposing reforms to the CTP scheme which will lower the cost of premiums, reduce insurer super profits, cut delays in the payment of benefits, and target fraudulent and exaggerated claims. These reforms will substantially lower Green Slip prices for many vehicle owners, with state-wide average premiums to drop from $650 to $528. NSW motorists will shave around $120 off their Green Slip under the new scheme. Injured people who are not at fault in an accident will be entitled to additional income and medical support, and those with moderate and more serious injuries will retain access to the common law system.
The reform package also includes a new claims support service and enhanced dispute resolution process to reduce stress and hassle for injured people when they lodge a claim or have a dispute with their insurer.
The NSW Government is determined to ensure the CTP scheme delivers what it was designed to do: provide injured people with the benefits and support their need to recover. For more information on the reforms go to www.sira.nsw.gov.au.