Natural Disaster Financial Assistance (NDFA) November 2013 Overview of the NDFA • Assists in the recovery process & alleviates some of the financial burden experienced following a natural disaster including assistance to: - municipal councils & Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs); - Individuals & households (personal hardship grants);& - Primary producers, small businesses & not-for-profit organisations (Concessional loans & Clean up & Restoration Grants) • Mirrors the joint State-Commonwealth Natural Disaster Relief & Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). Eligible natural disasters • Assistance is available for the following types of events: - Bushfire, earthquake, flood, storm, cyclone, storm surge, landslide, tsunami, meteorite strike or tornado - Terrorism an additional inclusion in July 2010 • Non-natural disasters not eligible, including: - Drought, frost, heatwave, epidemic, or events where human activity is a significant contributing cause (for example, poor environmental planning, commercial development, personal intervention (other than arson), or accident) Applying for financial assistance • Councils can apply for assistance through: - Claims (actual expenditure incurred); or - Advance Payment requests • The DTF website provides - A flowchart on the Claims & Advance Payment processes http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Publications/Victoria-Economypublications/Claims-and-advance-payment-process; and - Claim form http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Publications/Victoria-Economypublications/Municipal-claims-form Claims Process • Councils required to submit Claims for actual eligible expenditure regularly to DTF with a copy to VicRoads i.e. at least quarterly • Expenditure is formally assessed by VicRoads • Process generally takes 6 – 8 weeks subject to complexity of claim Claims process cont. • All restoration works required to be completed within the allowable time period of 2 years from the end of the financial year in which the natural disaster occurred - i.e. the deadline for February/March & June 2012 flood repairs is 30 June 2014 • Allowable time period deadlines for NDRRA notified events are provided at the following link: http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Victorias-Economy/Natural-disasterfinancial-assistance/Allowable-time-period • In exceptional circumstances, an extension may be successful however, becoming harder to argue Advance Payment process • Where financial hardship can be demonstrated, an advance payment may be requested to assist with cash flow in commencing repair or restoration works. • Requests should be addressed to Jillian Wyatt, DTF, Level 9, 1 Macarthur Street, Melbourne 3002 & include - the full amount of the advance requested; total estimated damage; expected date works will be completed; event & outline of the natural disaster; & the balance remaining of previous advance (if applicable). Advance Payment process cont. • Advance payment requests subject to internal DTF approval & DTF Secretary sign-off • Councils will receive confirmation of advance payments approved • Justification Claims (offsetting against the advance) are required to be submitted to DTF on a regular basis – with a copy to VicRoads to speed up the process • VicRoads will then undertake formal assessment of expenditure as per the normal claims process Eligible costs which Councils can claim • Certain counter disaster operations, including repairs to facilities damaged by counter disaster operations • The restoration & emergency protection works to essential public assets damaged as a direct result of a natural disaster. Restoration is only to pre-existing condition using current engineering & design standards • Some additional operational costs mainly associated with the establishment of a: - Municipal Emergency Coordination Centre (MECC); - Relief centre; and/or - Recovery centre Restoration of Essential Public Assets • Definition under the NDRRA recently narrowed to: - An integral & necessary part of the State’s infrastructure associated with health, education, transport, justice or welfare • Eligible assets include: - Road & bridge infrastructure, footpaths, levees, local government offices & storm water infrastructure • Sporting & community facilities, religious establishments & memorials now generally excluded • Assets need to be owned by the council • Eligibility issues should be directed to Donna Kennedy, DTF, in the first instance Notification of Events • Councils should advise Donna Kennedy, DTF, of: - damage to essential public assets or that they are undertaking counter disaster activities or establishing a MECC, Relief or Recovery Centre, as soon as possible following a natural disaster event - Any revisions to damage estimates including project management costs Ineligible costs Include: • Normal maintenance & administration costs including salaries, day labour costs & other ongoing administrative type expenditure which would have been incurred even if the natural disaster had not occurred • Costs associated with restoring natural vegetation, natural banks, streams, rivers, beaches & undeveloped land • Costs incurred in mitigating, restoring or replacing an asset to a more disaster resilient level or higher level of service (unless otherwise agreed) Lessons Learned over the past three years! • Engage with DTF & local VicRoads officers as soon as possible after an event • Communicate with DTF & local VicRoads officers regularly on eligibility issues, i.e. alerting DTF when an advance payment is needed urgently to assist council with cash flow • Organise your procurement process • Develop clear systems to assist with the collection of eligible costs More Lessons Learned • Prioritise repair works to meet the allowable time period i.e. hire additional external project manager/engineers & establishing a Flood Repair Office • Clear communication between the MERO, Engineering and Finance teams, and CEO • Seek advice from other experienced Councils • Submit regular claims to DTF at least quarterly NDFA/NDRRA – future expectations • More reporting to Commonwealth including evidence of public acknowledgement • NDRRA Review of Insurance Arrangements – provision of essential public asset registers and detail around insurance arrangements to DTF by Councils (December 2013/January 2014) Further information • Website http://www.dtf.vic.gov.au/Victorias-Economy/Natural-disasterfinancial-assistance • Email address: [email protected] Copyright (C) 2013. State of Victoria. All rights reserved. The information contained in this presentation is provided by the State of Victoria for information purposes only. While the State of Victoria has made every effort to ensure the information contained in this presentation is free from error, the State of Victoria does not warrant or represent its accuracy, adequacy or completeness. All information detailed in this presentation is subject to change without notice.