Help to mend lost fences
By ANDY PARKS firstname.lastname@example.org NEIL RODWAY is still wading through water at his Barkers Vale home.
"It went through the house and wrecked all the carpet," he said. "We're 60 metres away from the creek and everything is soaked."
Mr Rodway was in Kyogle yesterday and dropped in to the one-stop-shop disaster relief centre set up by the NSW Department of Community Services (DoCS) and other agencies to assist those worst affected by the floods.
"I came in to see about getting help to fix my fences," he said.
Mr Rodway told The Northern Star he had five boundary fences and had lost at least 2km of fencing on his 12-hectare property. He estimated it would cost about $16,000 to fix it all.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries had a representative in Kyogle yesterday who was able to advise Mr Rodway that low-interest loans were available to help people in his situation.
"It's really useful to get the info and know where to go and what to do," he said. "They'll come out and have a look and make an assessment, but I won't do anything until at least the end of March or April. One big rain and the creek will come up and take it all away again."
Mr Rodway was one of more than 100 people who visited the centre in the first day and a half of its operation.
According to Wendy Graham, director of DoCS State Disaster Recovery Centre, more than 200 people had also called DoCS on its phone hotline.
"We've established the centre in Kyogle because it's where the biggest cluster of people in need of assistance is, but DoCS is assisting all people affected by the floods who call us on 1800 018 444. People not in the Kyogle district can call that number and we'll come out to them if required," she said.
Ms Graham said DoCS could offer financial assistance for essential household contents and structural repairs for people who met its eligibility criteria.
NSW Community Services Minister Kevin Greene was on the North Coast yesterday.