The New South Wales government has spent more than $100 million on road repairs, fare relief and non-government services in the state’s flood-ravaged Northern Rivers region.
- Ratepayers affected by flooding in seven local government areas will have their rates waived
- There is also $60 million for forest roads and $13 million for non-governmental organizations
- Although the money is welcome, some locals still fear the winter months ahead
More than three months into the catastrophic flooding, many are still homeless and areas are still without power.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole today announced $40 million in tariff relief for affected homes, businesses and farms in seven local government areas.
Eligible taxpayers will still receive a charging notice, but will be contacted by the NSW Government if it needs to be waived.
‘Services NSW should have assessed your property as damaged and then you will not have to pay tariffs for the next 12 months,’ Mr Toole said.
Local government areas are Tweed, Ballina, Bryon, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Clarence Valley.
There is also $60 million to repair logging roads and a pool of $13 million that flood-affected nongovernmental organizations can apply for.
Gypsy Hughes was one of many people rescued from “waist-deep” floodwaters in Woodburn and lives in a trailer with her children after their rental was deemed uninhabitable.
Despite her own struggles, she volunteers at the local neighborhood center, distributing supplies and services such as haircuts to people still displaced by the floods.
“It makes me so happy to know that we are not forgotten and that we are getting extra help,” she said of the latest funding announcement.
“It’s going to mean a lot to the local people who are doing all the fundraising.”
But Ms Hughes said there were still plenty of other issues to tackle, with housing being the main issue.
“There is nothing available, absolutely nothing,” she said.
“Especially with animals, and that’s all I have left for my kids so I don’t plan on getting rid of it.
Ms Hughes said winter made it a particularly “daunting” prospect.
“I’m a mom of kids sleeping in a tent, and I’d hate to think old people are going through the elements right now.”
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