Boost for Byron Shire flood coordination
TWO weeks after Ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie decimated the Northern Rivers the message is- just donate money.
The NSW Disaster Recovery Team led by Coordinator Euan Ferguson, visited Byron Shire on Thursday and emphasised that what affected locals needed most now was cash to help re-build their lives and businesses.
Mr Ferguson also praised efforts centred around the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre promising there would be greater coordination between the local sentre and the main flood recovery centres set up in Lismore and Murwillumbah.
There is still no word from the Federal Government as to whether Category C Funding will be made available for Byron Shire as it has been for Murwillumbah and Lismore but Council's acting General Manager Mark Arnold said council would continue with their flood survey and continue lobbying Canberra to unlock the Category C money.
"Today's meeting was very important, we were able to establish contact with the Emergency Response coordinator and describe the situation here in the community," he said.
"We also learnt that the work being done at the community centre will be augmented by services from the main recovery Centres in the Murwillumbah and Lismore."
Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said the face-to-face meeting with Mr Ferguson helped strengthen the message that flood affected Byron Shire residents need additional support.
It was agreed at the meeting that additional welfare would staff to be located at the Mullumbimby and District Neighbourhood Centre.
"This flood has affected the vulnerable parts of our communities and for many, they are only now starting to realise the full impact of the flood," he said.
"Whilst our community has been incredible in filling the support needs, additional on the ground is required help to access vital state services in the coming weeks.
The other key message from today's visit, was that the door for Australian Government funding support for residents and small business has 'not shut'.
Mayor Richardson said Council was still actively lobbying for the Australian Government funding released to local politicians, Minister for Justice Michael Keenan and the New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant.
"We still stand firm that it is disappointing that we have to demonstrate our need, but Council will continue to fight hard for the desperately needed funding.
"We have flood affected residents and small businesses who have been devastated by the flood and need help now," he urged.
Flood affected residents are urged to complete Council's survey online at: www.byron.nsw.gov.au or phone 6626 7320 and ask for a copy to be posted.
Businesses affected by the flood are also encouraged to complete the NSW Industry survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthCoastFloodsBusinessSurvey.
Byron Shire residents are also reminded that residents whose homes and essential contents have been affected by recent flood may be eligible for state funding.
The process does require a home visit and flood affected residents should call 1800 018 444.
More information can be found at: ww.emergency.nsw.gov.au or https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/for-the-community/disaster-assistance/disaster-assistance-for-individuals/for-individuals.html
Donations to help support Byron Shire's flood affection residents can be made to the Mullumbimby District and Neighbourhood Centre at: https://mdnc.org.au/
Flood disaster recovery centres have been set up at Lismore and Murwillumbah and information on state services can be found at: https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au.
Byron Shire flood affected residents are encouraged to visit the recovery centres.
Outreach services from the recovery centres have also commenced into the Byron Shire flood affected areas this week.