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Media Release by The Hon Bill Shorten MP

Income Recovery Subsidy extended in Victoria Bushfire areas

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, Minister for Families Housing Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The Australian Government will continue to support victims of the Victorian bushfires by extending the Income Recovery Subsidy for a further 13 weeks, giving people more time to regain their long-term financial independence.

Although recovery is underway in many regions, some individuals continue to experience financial pressure due to the fires. A handful of farmers and small businesses are still not fully operational and some employees are yet to return to full time work.

By extending these payments the Australian Government can offer practical support while these people get back on their feet.

The Income Recovery Subsidy provides fortnightly assistance at the Newstart Allowance rate of $453.30 for singles and $409 (each) for couples.

Centrelink will contact existing recipients to determine if they are eligible for the extension of the Income Recovery Subsidy.

The Income Recovery Subsidy will be available to those eligible until 10 November 2009.

This subsidy complements a range of existing services and other payments and assistance available under the Commonwealth Government Recovery Assistance Package available to help the bushfire victims.

Since the fires more than $11.5 million has assisted at least 3,700 people through the Income Recovery Subsidy.

In the last 13 weeks 1,800 people have received the subsidy.

The Australian Government has provided more than $226 million to support people and communities affected by the fires.

For more information please visit Centrelink (www.centrelink.gov.au)or contact the Australian Government Victorian Bushfires Hotline on 180 2211 or TTY service FreeCALLâ„¢ 1800 810 586