ABOVE: The Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Lismore. Photo: Mark Kriedemann
While the floodwaters knew no boundaries or where one LGA began and another finished, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison did.
In Lismore yesterday, March 9, more than 10 days since the flood disaster hit the region, the Prime Minister announced extra funding for those impacted by the floods in the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley LGAs only.
Those LGAs will get another two weekly disaster payments of $1000 per adult and $400 per child. If you have already applied for the first disaster payment, you will automatically get the next two.
Four Northern Rivers shires were overlooked in extra flood recovery support.
These extra payments are not being offered to Kyogle LGA residents or to Byron, Ballina and Tweed shire residents.
$31.2 million will be spent on immediate and longer-term mental health support services, and a further $10 million will go to a mental health program for school-aged children in flood-affected areas.
The government will spend $25 million on emergency relief, food relief and financial counselling services
Further business support will be available with a specialised package for Norco in Lismore.
The National Recovery and Resilience Agency will assess the possibility of additional local government areas that meet the catastrophic impact assessment. No time frame was given on this.
Janelle Saffin MP wrote on her Facebook page that what was needed from the Prime Minister was to “open the cheque book, our cheque book to fund our recovery.”
“Our needs are clear – housing, business support with no BS, money in people’s pockets now, rebuilding our infrastructure like roads and proper recovery funding to give our communities hope,” Ms Saffin said.
We have asked our local leaders, Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow, Kyogle mayor Kylie Thomas, Federal MP Kevin Hogan and State MPs Chris Gulaptis and Janelle Saffin for their comments on the PM’s announcement.
We will publish their comments as soon as possible.