Support available for flood affected Coffs Coast community

John Barilaro, Max and Melinda Pavey in Nambucca one of their stops on the Mid North Coast.

 

SCHOOLS have been evacuated, bus routes affected, landslides and flood waters have closed roads, properties and vehicles have been damaged and livestock have been lost as a result of the extreme flooding on the Coffs Coast. 

Melinda Pavey MP and Deputy Premier John Barilaro hit the road this week to survey the disaster areas.

Ms Pavey was among a number of officials sharing information on the government’s disaster recovery assistance program.

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Member for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh welcomed vital assistance provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

“We know our community is resilient to disaster, but when the worst occurs it is a relief to know there is help available,” Mr Singh said.

“I join with my colleagues in the NSW and Australian Governments in supporting local residents during these extremely difficult circumstances.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said communities are experiencing significant disruption due to heavy rainfall and flooding.

“As NSW continues to deal with this serious weather event, this announcement will help reassure those already affected that there is assistance available to cover the costs associated with the operational response and support households, small businesses, primary producers, not-for-profit organisations and councils as they continue to repair the damaged assets and essential public assets, such as roads,” Mr Elliott said.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88. To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au. Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and Service NSW at www.service.nsw.gov.au

As well, the federal government has announced a one off payment support for people affected by the floods.

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is $1,000 per adult and $400 for each child younger than sixteen.

If eligible the payments will be welcome news for individuals and families that have been affected.

And for community members who wish to assist in donating items for the recovery process they are being urged not to donate unrequested items.

In partnership with the NSW Government, GIVIT is managing donations during this recovery.

GIVIT’s NSW Manager, Scott Barrett said, “Please do not bring unrequested donations into the impacted areas, or donations which can be bought locally.

“We want to make sure local organisations aren’t inundated with donations they don’t need, by encouraging people to donate the smart way through our website, GIVIT.org.au.”

“100% of donated money GIVIT receives will be used to purchase essential items and services needed by people and communities impacted.

“To support local businesses and the economic recovery of affected communities, wherever possible, GIVIT purchases locally,” said Mr Barrett.

Donations needed by people impacted are already being shared on GIVIT.org.au.

Essential and everyday items such as toiletries, food and fuel vouchers, as well as items needed in evacuation centres have already been requested.

“Residents have lost essential household items, furniture, whitegoods, clothes, work equipment and more.

“GIVIT is working directly with councils, outreach teams, local charities and community groups who tell us exactly what’s needed.

“Then, we work to meet these needs through our online warehouse, or by purchasing requested items locally using donated funds.

“This way we provide households and people impacted with exactly what they need, when they need it most,” said Mr Barrett.

To donate, or learn more about GIVIT’s ‘Severe Storms and Flooding’ Appeal, visit GIVIT.org.au/severe-storms-and-flooding.

 

By Sandra MOON

 

View from the Coramba Bridge of the rising Orara River.

 

Trees are swamped in the Orara River at Coramba which swallowed up the footbridge completely.

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