Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the new payments, which include an additional $2,000 for adults and $800 for children.
Morrison said his Government was focused on the pressing needs of communities in NSW and Queensland.
“I intend to recommend to the Governor-General to make a National Emergency Declaration covering this severe weather and flooding event across New South Wales and Queensland, to ensure all our emergency powers are available and that we cut through any red tape we might face in delivering services and support on the ground,” Morrison said.
“We introduced the power to make a National Emergency Declaration after the Black Summer bushfires and it will ensure our ministers and agencies don’t face any unnecessary bureaucracy as they roll out what communities need.”
Those who live in Richmond Valley, Lismore and Clarence Valley LGAs are the highest-impacted areas and will qualify for the additional payments.
The Prime Minister said those three LGAs were facing catastrophic conditions.
“The sheer scale and impact to these areas in northern NSW highlights the need for extra support right now,” Morrison said.
“While people in northern NSW aren’t able to work, are still clearing out their homes and businesses, the extra two lots of $1,000 payments we’re rolling out to eligible families and individuals will give them some certainty as they start to rebuild their lives.”
How to access the additional payments
The two additional weekly payments will only go to those who live in the catastrophe zones in the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley LGAs.
The payments will be automatically paid for those who have already claimed and received the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment, at the current rate of $1,000 per adult and $400 per child.
The payments will be made from 15 and 22 March.
The National Recovery and Resilience Agency will also undertake assessment of possible additional LGAs that also meet the catastrophic-impact assessment.