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Cyclone Debbie victims given new relief

DAMAGE: Low income victims of Cyclone Debbie may have access to the new relief subsidy.
DAMAGE: Low income victims of Cyclone Debbie may have access to the new relief subsidy. Peter Carruthers

LOW income victims of Cyclone Debbie who are still suffering in the aftermath may have access to a new $400 subsidy.

The subsidy, available through Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre's No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS), can be used to replace damaged household goods.

It's been eight weeks since the category four system tore through the region and executive officer of the Neighbourhood Centre, Rebecca Woods, said the subsidy would be welcomed by locals in the region who wanted nothing more than to get their lives back to normal.

"We've seen a lot more people in financial stress since the cyclone," she said.

"We want people experiencing financial hardship to come and talk to us."

Good Shepherd Microfinance Chief Operating Officer, Lisa Carroll, said it was thanks to a $100,000 donation from NAB that the $400 subsidies were available.

"When you're already in a precarious financial position, a major disaster like Cyclone Debbie can cause serious, long-term money worries," she said.

"Households on low incomes often don't have a buffer to cope with the unexpected.

"This support from NAB will help hundreds of people in Queensland and northern New South Wales to replace damaged essential items like fridges and washing machines."

Residents who are a new or current No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) client can access the one-off $400 subsidy if they were affected by Cyclone Debbie or the flooding in late March to early April.

NAB Head of Financial Inclusion, Elliot Anderson, said the NAB subsidy was part of a larger package of relief measures the bank was providing to affected areas.

"Over the past couple of months, our specially trained NAB Assist staff have been helping customers access financial relief, counselling and other support," he said.

"We want this subsidy to offer some reprieve for those who are still recovering."

Topics:  cyclone debbie subsidy whitsunday neighbourhood centre whitsundays


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