South Australia’s River Murray businesses impacted by the flood event will be financially supported, under initiatives from a $51.6 million initial assistance package.
The nine local government areas eligible for disaster funding are Alexandrina Council, Berri Barmera Council, Coorong District Council, District Council of Karoonda East Murray, District Council of Loxton Waikerie, Mid Murray Council, Murray Bridge Council, Pastoral Unincorporated Area and Renmark Paringa Council.
The State Government’s assistance package support for businesses includes:
- Grants of up to $50,000 to assist business owners with the cost of private levy works required to bring levees up to certified engineering standard
- $4.8 million to purchase sandbags and other flood defences
- Early Business Closure Grant - $10,000 for non-employing businesses and $20,000 for employing businesses forced to close or cease trading prior to the flood
- Generator purchase grants of up to $4,000 for businesses who are switched off from the electricity grid
- $3 million to meet the costs of relocating or re-establishing pumping/generator infrastructure for irrigators impacted by the floods
- $3 million for 3 rounds of time-limited $200 vouchers for accommodation/tourism experiences in river communities at a time to be determined by consultation with industry
- $1.1 million for a “Book Them Out” style marketing campaign
- $501,000 to reinforce houseboat moorings and pump stormwater
- $1 million in mental health support
- $2 million local preparedness fund to be administered by Alex Zimmerman
- A waiver of state government fees and charges for houseboat and tourism operators impacted by the floods
- $10 million towards remediation of critical state infrastructure including roads, ferry infrastructure, essential services
The State Government has sought and received assurances from the banking industry that the banks stand ready to offer support to customers in financial distress, including through loan and interest deferrals, debt consolidation, loan restructures and other measures. Customers are urged to discuss their own circumstances and options directly with their bank.
These measures will be jointly funded by the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.
Under those arrangements, the South Australian Government has appointed Alex Zimmerman to serve as Community Response and Recovery Coordinator to support the recovery effort across the affected council areas.
A former senior police officer, Mr Zimmerman has extensive experience serving coordinating recovery efforts in previous disasters, including floods and bushfires.
For more information on the River Murray flood event please call the SA SES flood and storm information line on 1800 362 361.