The Federal Government will provide financial assistance to commercial fishers adversely affected by the NSW Government’s fishing bans in Tilligerry Creek and Fullerton Cove.
As part of the support package, commercial fishers who derive the majority of their income from fishing in the areas affected by the bans may be eligible for an Income Recovery Subsidy equivalent to Newstart or Youth Allowance, and Business Assistance Payments of up to $25,000.
Commercial fishers who have experienced financial hardship as a direct result of the closure of fisheries linked to the PFOS/PFOA contamination around RAAF Base Williamtown may be eligible to receive the Income Recovery Subsidy backdated from the date of the original fisheries closure on 4 September 2015.
The Business Assistance Payment is a $5000 lump sum to eligible businesses to assist with immediate costs. Affected businesses may also be eligible for further hardship payments of up to $20,000.
“The Federal Government acknowledges that this has been a particularly challenging time for local commercial fishers,’’ Assistant Minister for Defence Darren Chester said.
“This package will ensure eligible fishers are supported during the current ban.’’
Member for Patterson Bob Baldwin welcomed the financial assistance package.
“It is important that the local fishing community is supported as a result of events outside their control,” Mr Baldwin said.
PFOS and PFOA were extensively used in fire fighting foams world wide up until 2008 due to their effectiveness in extinguishing liquid fuel fires.
The chemicals are also used in a range of industrial, commercial and domestic products including water proofing on clothes, carpet and paint and in the manufacture of some non-stick cookware.
Defence continues to work with NSW government agencies, local Councils and other Commonwealth agencies to further investigate the nature and extent of the contamination at RAAF Base Williamtown.
For more information about the support payments, please visit humanservices.gov.au/centrelink or call 180 23 22.
For further details please see Additional Information.
Minister Chester: Brie Colley 0475 962 448
Defence Media: 02 6127 1999