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The Federal Government has added three more local government areas (LGAs) devastated by floodwaters to its additional disaster payment scheme, allowing residents to access thousands more in support.

From today the residents of Ballina, Kyogle and Tweed will be eligible for an additional two weekly disaster payments paid at the rate of $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

The additional payments will be automatically paid to those who have already claimed and received the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.

A woman looks at a flooded business today in Ballina. (Dan Peled/Getty Images)

Residents can expect to receive the additional payments from March 22.

The areas join three original LGAs already eligible in the scheme of Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley.

Emergency Management Minister Bridget McKenzie said the three new areas were included based on assessments made by the National Recovery and Resilience Agency.

“As the full scale and impact to these areas in northern NSW is being realised, the Liberal and Nationals Government is implementing this extra support as quickly as possible,” Ms McKenzie said.

“While people in northern NSW aren’t able to work, are still clearing out their homes and businesses, the extra two $1000 payments we’re rolling out to eligible families and individuals will support our communities as they start to rebuild their lives.

“The additional two $1000 payments for adults and $400 for children will automatically apply for AGDRP recipients in the Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed LGAs, so there is no need for people to re-apply.”

An SES vehicle drives through a flooded street in Ballina. (Dan Peled/Getty Images)

Government Services Minister Linda Reynolds said more than $862 million worth of disaster payments had been paid for 784,000 claims.

“The catastrophic scale and impact of what we’re seeing in this region of northern NSW is exactly why this extra support is needed,” Ms Reynolds said.

“Eligible adults in seven Northern Rivers LGAs will receive a total payment of $3000 each, plus a total of $1200 for each child.

“I’d encourage anyone who has not yet applied for the disaster payment to do so as soon as possible.”

NSW flood Sydney
Piles of flood ruined belongings line the streets in Ballina in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. (Janie Barrett)

The move to include more government areas comes after sustained criticism from flood-damaged communities that the original three LGAs were chosen to favour a Nationals-held federal seat.

Ballina, Byron and Tweed LGAs all fall into the Labor-held seat of Richmond.

Affected residents can claim the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance online through myGov.

Online claiming is available 24/7.

If people require support to claim, they can call the Australian Government Emergency Information Line on 180 22 66, open Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm local time and this Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm local time.

Flood clean-ups underway after devastating deluge

Source: 9News

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