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Newly Announced Flood Support Package a Win for Affected Councils

A new support package of $742 million to help Northern NSW recover from the cataclysmic flooding crisis has been welcomed by affected councils as they start to rebuild their communities.

Local Government NSW (LGNSW) President Cr Darriea Turley AM today commended the NSW and Federal governments on their announcement.

The State Government’s $120 million Local Council Support Package includes $40 million to provide grants to councils to address urgent and immediate operational challenges and $80 million to establish a working capital fund to supplement councils with flood and disaster recovery where residents are unable to pay their rates.

“We are extremely happy to see that the NSW Government has provided more funding to the hardest-hit councils on top of the nearly $1 billion in emergency response and relief funding already provided,” Cr Turley said.

“What is also beneficial for councils and communities is the allocation of $145 million for the urgent repair and replacement of water and sewerage critical infrastructure in the disaster-declared LGAs of the Northern Rivers.

“Our mayors, councillors and council staff have been working non-stop during the floods to save their communities and now during the long and challenging clean-up.

“Councils are the closest form of government to their communities and play a vital role in everyday life of regional and rural areas.

“This extra funding is desperately needed by regional councils to shorten the length of the recovery process.

“It is particularly pleasing to see that water and sewerage infrastructure has been recognised as critical infrastructure and provided with recovery funding.

“This infrastructure has previously been excluded from funding under DRFA.

“LGNSW has persistently advocated for its inclusion, and it is a positive step in the right direction to see the NSW Government has listened and is working proactively with local government.”

Cr Turley said there were now 58 councils eligible for assistance under DRFA after the addition of Port Stephens Council.

“This shows just how catastrophic these floods were and that continued support is needed more than ever,” Cr Turley said.

“The damage in many areas is so extensive that DRFA arrangements will be totally inadequate. Additional recovery funding beyond the DRFA is desperately required.

“AS LGNSW President, I am committed to ensuring that flood-affected councils are well-equipped and aren’t forgotten.

“I am proud of the work being undertaken by councils each and every day as they battle through these devastating times.”