Greens North Coast spokesperson, Dawn Walker and Greens Member for Ballina, Tamara Smith have jointly called for Byron and Ballina Shires to be eligible for disaster relief funding under the Commonwealth’s Disaster Recovery Program.
“While we absolutely support Tweed and Lismore LGA’s receiving disaster relief funding, it needs to recognised that areas in both Byron and Ballina Shires also suffered great damage."
Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina said:
“It’s outrageous that the Prime Minister came to visit the North Coast to see our flood-ravaged communities, yet failed to recognise the major impact to towns like Mullumbimby, New Brighton, Billinudgel, South Golden Beach, Ocean Shores, Cabbage Tree Island and elsewhere, where houses were inundated and people’s property destroyed.
“Natural Disaster Areas has been declared in Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGAs, yet only Tweed and Lismore LGAs are eligible for financial support to assist them get back on their feet after this devastating event.
“It makes no sense that only two of the six LGAs within the natural disaster zone are eligible for assistance said Tamara Smith.
Dawn Walker, Greens MLC said:
“Our community has suffered greatly from these floods with houses inundated, businesses destroyed and farmers decimated.
“While we absolutely support Tweed and Lismore LGA’s receiving disaster relief funding, it needs to recognised that areas in both Byron and Ballina Shires also suffered great damage. They should also be eligible for support under the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance programs.”
Both Tamara Smith and Dawn Walker will move Notices of Motion in both Houses of the NSW Parliament calling on the NSW Government to support Byron and Ballina Shires inclusion for Disaster Relief Funding.
People affected by the flood in eligible areas can apply for a one-off payment of $1000 and a further $400 for each child under the age of 16 under the Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Program.
Those who have lost their income due to the flood can apply for a regular cash Disaster Recovery Allowance for up to 13 weeks.