New Disaster Recovery Allowance Bill introduced

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New anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status

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New laws to improve marriage celebrant services

New laws to improve the services that Australians receive from marriage celebrants through the Commonwealth Marriage Celebrants Program will be introduced into federal parliament today.

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Australia and US host workshop to combat online extremism

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Cyber attacks on Australian business more targeted and coordinated

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Australian Government providing disaster income support for NSW storm and flooding victims

Joint Media Release

Minister for Emergency Management
The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP

Minister for Human Services
Senator The Hon Kim Carr

18 March 2013

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy (DIRS) has been made available to eligible residents in North East NSW whose income has been affected as a direct result of the severe storms and flooding in January and February this year.

Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management Mark Dreyfus QC and Minister for Human Services Kim Carr today announced that eligible people in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) can claim the DIRS: Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Greater Taree, Kempsey, Lismore, Nambucca, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

“The Australian Government recognises that these storms and floods prevented many individuals from returning to work”, Mr Dreyfus said.

“The loss of income has put a significant financial strain on many workers, including those supporting families.”

Mr Dreyfus said this assistance will help employees, small business people and farmers to recover and get back on their feet as swiftly as possible.

Senator Kim Carr encouraged eligible people to access the DIRS as soon as possible.

“I strongly urge individuals in these areas who have lost income as a result of these events to take advantage of this assistance,” Senator Kim Carr said.

The DIRS provides fortnightly payments equivalent to the maximum rate of Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance for eligible residents.

This Australian Government assistance is over and above the support already being provided under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), which is jointly funded with the New South Wales Government.

Claims for DIRS can be lodged online at or by calling the Australian Government Information Line on 180 22 66 from 8am to 5pm local time, Monday to Friday. Completed claim forms can also be lodged in person at a Commonwealth Department of Human Services service centre.

Further information on Australian Government assistance is available online at

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Native title tax treatment to be examined

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More disaster assistance for central and southern Queensland

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Natural disaster declaration following storms and floods in Northern NSW

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC MP and NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher today extended disaster assistance to five additional Local Government Areas in NSW affected by severe storms and flooding last month.

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Reforms create a more efficient Native Title system

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