The NSW Government has announced six months of council rates relief to ease the burden for anyone who has lost their home or small business in the recent bush fires. Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro and Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said the funding is part of the NSW Government's commitment to do all it can to help local communities recover and rebuild from the devastating bushfires. "Bush fire affected communities will not have to pay rates on a home which has been lost in the fires," Mr Bedlam said. "The last thing our communities need right now is more financial stress, which is why the NSW Government is doing everything to ease the burden by funding council rates and picking up the bill for the clean-up, at no cost to owners. "Regional communities, emergency services, volunteers and our farmers have been outstanding throughout the fires, and we need to be as vigilant in recovery as they are in the face of disaster," he said. Ms Hancock said the NSW Government will cover the full cost of council rates for the third and fourth quarters of this financial year for residents and farmers who have lost their homes, and business owners whose properties have been destroyed beyond repair by bushfires. "The impact of the bushfires is truly unprecedented with the tragic loss of more than 2,400 homes in NSW," Mrs Hancock said. "It is simply unfair to expect somebody to go through the heartbreak of losing their home and then expect them to pay rates on a property they can no longer live in. Affected residents that have lost their homes and small businesses will soon be able to take their council rates notice to a Service NSW centre and the Government will cover the cost. Anyone who has already paid their rates will receive a refund. "The NSW Government is committed to cutting red tape and reducing the financial burden for individuals who have lost their homes," Mrs Hancock said. "We stand ready to do all we can to help bushfire-affected communities so they can recover and rebuild as quickly as possible."
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