Residents' storm of protest
CORAKI residents have labelled the Richmond Valley Council "slack" for not providing more assistance to residents who were still cleaning up after Sunday's storm.
"The official line is there's no disaster funding available so there's no assistance," said Kez Henderson, of Coraki.
"But what do we pay rates for? It's slack."
Ms Henderson was assisting her 82-year-old neighbour, Leo Vidler, clear his property in Adams St.
She said another elderly resident paid a tradesman $52 a truckload to clear debris from her property.
"It's just money-making from our misfortune," she said.
In nearby Donaldson St a huge pile of storm debris had been dumped outside Beverly Bullpit's home.
Ms Bullpit believed the green waste was dumped by people who could not afford to clear their own property.
"Some time during the night somebody has dumped a big load of green waste on my verge.
"I've got no way of getting rid of it and why should I? I'm very upset."
Ms Bullpit is recovering from breast and bowel cancer and has osteoporosis.
She described the dumping of debris as "a low act".
"I know country people aren't like this. Australian people aren't like this," she said.
The council's manager of environmental health and regulatory control, Peter Cotterill, defended the level of assistance available.
"There have been other events recently in Evans Head and Casino that weren't declared disasters and the Coraki incident is not being treated any differently to those," he said.
Mr Cotterill said the council could only waive fees at landfills and activate free rubbish pick-ups when a disaster zone was declared.
"This event hasn't been declared an emergency because it wasn't large enough," he said.
"We have to go by what the government declares. Otherwise it's just too subjective."