Flood recovery task force mobilised
A multi-agency task force with more than 500 personnel, helicopters and equipment is being deployed to drive the flood clean-up across Greater Sydney and the Illawarra.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the task force consists of personnel from the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Public Works Advisory (PWA) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“Our emergency service personnel and volunteers are doing an outstanding job dealing with the flooding, but it is also vital we get boots on the ground to begin the recovery process,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We are focused on making sure affected residents and businesses are safe and have everything they need to recover as soon as possible.”
The clean-up task force was mobilised during the March 2021 floods, sixteen days after the flood event commenced. The current taskforce is on the ground nine days post the commencement of the flood event.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said while the emergency response continues in some parts of NSW, some communities like Camden, Penrith and southern Sydney are beginning to clean up.
“The first step of the flood clean-up involves SES personnel undertaking rapid damage assessments of flood-affected homes and businesses so that properties can be deemed safe,” Ms Cooke said.
“This information is then used to help inform decisions about further support measures from the NSW and Commonwealth governments.
“Our teams will also assist with clearing bulk debris, washing out homes and businesses, and making sure roads are accessible so that it’s safe for people to return.
“Some of these communities have been flooded four times in 18 months which is why it’s so important we get the clean-up underway and completed as quickly as possible.”
The NSW Government is also waiving the waste levy in flood-affected areas to help communities dispose of flood-damaged items.
Minister for Environment James Griffin said residents in the 23 natural disaster declared LGAs will be able to take flood-generated waste to the tip for free.
“We’re still in the emergency phase, but recovery is a process that must start as soon as it possibly can and waiving the waste levy helps communities clean up and dispose of flood-damaged items,” Mr Griffin said.
“If you’re involved in the flood clean-up, ask your local council which waste facility is taking debris, and whether there are special requirements for disposing of flood damaged waste.”
Waste facilities will need to ensure the waste is flood generated before they can waive the Government’s waste levy. Council waste facility gate fees may still apply.