Support rolled out for recovery, clean-up, housing and finance in flood impacted regions
In the 12 days since the first disaster declarations were made for this devastating flood event, around $1.5 billion of support has been committed to the recovery from the NSW Government in partnership with the Commonwealth.
In addition to the financial response, on-the-ground support from NSW emergency services and the Australian Defence Force today reached 8,000 active personnel across the state, who are ensuring supplies reach communities that are still cut off by floodwaters, as well as supporting communities with the huge clean-up operation.
The Commonwealth and NSW Governments have also started the process of transitioning people from evacuation centres, hotels and motels, into longer-term accommodation as part of a $285 million Temporary Housing Support Package.
Communities impacted by the floods will have access to 16 weeks’ rental support available soon, temporary housing pods, temporary housing in recreation camps in the Northern Rivers, plus a housing brokerage service enabling the Australian Red Cross to work with private rental companies, such as Airbnb and Stayz, to help connect people with rental homes.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said with flood waters now receding, the NSW Government is putting every available resource in to supporting the recovery effort.
“Our key focus areas right now are clean-up, housing and financial supports. We know there is more to do and this is just the start of the recovery process and we will be with communities every step of the way,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We have close to 100 clean-up crews in action across Northern Rivers and the Hawkesbury regions, removing 4,000 tonnes of waste a day. These crews have shifted on average over the past four days, the same amount of waste that was shifted in four weeks post the February/March 2021 floods in Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Nambucca.
“We are rolling out our standard recovery supports as quickly as possible, as well as addressing specific needs as they arise. This is why we didn’t wait and set up our housing package ahead of time so we can assist the 2,000 people we are helping with accommodation transition into more medium-term accommodation.
“We’ve also announced $25 million in mental health support today, topping up numerous mental health programs to reach more people and support them through what for many has been a deeply traumatic event.”
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said Primary Producer grants had been activated faster than ever before, with farmers able to access grants of up to $15,000 immediately, with grants of up to $75,000 available.
“Our whole of Government approach is driving this rapid response to ensure affected communities are able to rebuild their lives and livelihoods, faster,” Mr Toole said.
“We’ve already had more than 400 applications for our primary producer grants, and I would urge others to apply. We’ve also helped farmers by delivering 1.9 tonnes of fodder.”
Service NSW is taking registrations from those who expect they might need housing and has helped 30,000 people so far with everything from grants to replacing IDs with the support line open until 10pm.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said thousands of emergency services personnel have kick-started the clean-up by making roads accessible, helping with the washout of properties, and removing bulk waste.
“SES teams are undertaking damage assessments on households, businesses and industry premises, with close to 15,000 completed so far,” Ms Cooke said.
“It’s vital people know what support is available to them and I would urge everyone to visit the nearest recovery centre so then can the help they need.”
Resilience NSW currently has nine recovery centres open and continues to open up recovery centres in areas where emergency evacuation orders have been lifted.
For more information, please see the NSW Government floods information.
Recovery funding packages to date
In NSW, the Commonwealth and NSW Governments have committed around $1.5 billion to support the flood recovery and response effort.
Initial $434.7 million of funding from the Commonwealth and New South Wales governments will be provided to support communities clean up and remove damage and debris, as well as further support local government areas (LGAs) that have been flood-affected.
Additional support package of more than $551 million
$285 million Temporary Housing Support package includes;
- $248 million rental support scheme, providing 16 weeks rental support, which will be accessible by the end of March;
- $20 million to extend the temporary housing program to allow people to stay on their land in a temporary ‘pod’ dwelling while rebuilding;
- $10 million to supply temporary accommodation through mobile motor homes, with the first 20 to be delivered by March 13;
- $4.5 million to support the Housing Flood Recovery Service to manage long term housing needs and recovery;
- $2.5 million to provide temporary housing through the hiring of recreation camps in the Northern Rivers. Locations include Camp Koinonia, Lake Ainsworth Sport & Recreation Centre and Camp Drew with capacity for up to 270 people and on-site facilities for cooking and hygiene, and;
- $150,000 for a housing brokerage service enabling the Australian Red Cross to work with private rental companies, such as Airbnb and Stayz, to help connect people with rental homes.
$25 million in mental health support with an additional $10 million provided by the Commonwealth for vulnerable flood impacted kids.
$90 million to assist with the clean-up and removal of flood and storm related damage, debris, and green waste for the additional 28 disaster declared LGAs enabling them to work with Resilience NSW and NSW Government agencies to coordinate clean-up activities in their communities.
High-level recovery statistics
- $75,000 primary producer grants available across 57 disaster-declared LGAs are now open
- $50,000 small business and not-for-profit grants available across 57 disaster-declared LGAs are now open
- More than 2,000 people provided with emergency accommodation to date
- Damage assessments are underway with close to 15,000 buildings assessed
- Waste levies waived for flood-affected local government areas
- More than 5,500 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel are active in the flood effort – more than 4,000 in Northern NSW and more than 1,500 in the Sydney Basin. Plus around 2500 SES and emergency services crew on the ground.
- More than 3,848 truckloads of waste deposited with more than 2,200 skip bins have been deployed
- More than 1.9 tonnes of fodder has been delivered
- Service NSW dedicated customer service teams have helped more than 30,000 people with accommodation, mental health, support for businesses, financial assistance, insurance, and legal support as well as replacing lost ID.
- Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon has been appointed Northern NSW Recovery Coordinator, Gary McKinnon has been appointed the Deputy Northern NSW Recovery Coordinator and Dean Betts has been appointed the Hawkesbury Recovery Coordinator.
- The NSW Government and GIVIT are working together alongside charities to assess and advise what critical and immediate material support is needed. They will also assist with managing donated money and offers of goods and services.
Recovery Centres currently in operation:
- Ballina: Ballina Surf Club, Lighthouse Beach Parade, East Ballina;
- Casino: Casino Community and Cultural Centre, 35 Walker Street, Casino;
- Grafton: Old St George Bank, 32 Prince Street, Grafton;
- Kyogle: Kyogle Memorial Institute, 131 Summerland Way, Kyogle;
- Lismore: V Block, Southern Cross University, Military Road, East Lismore;
- Maclean: Maclean Recovery Assistance Point, 50A River Street, Maclean:
- Mullumbimby: 55 Dalley Street, Mullumbimby;
- Murwillumbah: Murwillumbah Civic Centre Auditorium, 10-14 Tumbulgum Road, Murwillumbah; and
- South Windsor: South Windsor Family Centre, 6 Greenhills Way, South Windsor.
Resilience NSW will establish a Recovery Centre in Wisemans Ferry shortly.
For those wanting to be assisted remotely, Service NSW is operating as an online one-stop shop, with Customer Care specialists also available on the phone via 13 77 88.