Elliot: I’m fighting for Upper Coopers Creek
RICHMOND MP Justine Elliot says she is working hard to get compensation and assistance for the struggling residents of Upper Coopers Creek.
Responding to an opinion piece in The Northern Star suggesting she needed to lobby hard to win compensation for residents who are cut off from the rest of the region but are considered by the Federal Government to not "fit" the criteria for compensation, Ms Elliot said she was lobbying the government already.
In a statement issued to The Star today, Ms Elliot says residents are eligible for some assistance through the NSW Government-administered Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements by phoning 1800 018 444 or going to it's website.
However, residents of Upper Coopers Creek say they have been told, when seeking assistance, that fund had nothing for them.
One resident, posting on The Northern Star Facebook page said she had tried phoning the 1800 number about five times and had been rebuffed each time.
Other residents have said they were told they missed a 48-hour deadline to apply for aid (even though phones were down in the area for more than 110 hours after ex-tropical cyclone blasted the area), or that they could not get help with things they needed, such as replacing food that spoiled when the power went out.
Ms Elliot said she was lobbying Federal Emergency Management Minister Mark Dreyfus to extend eligibility to the Australian Disaster Recovery Payment to Upper Coopers Creek so residents could get the help they needed.
"I am continuing to work with Mark Dreyfus, the Minister for Emergency Managements, as well as the Byron council and NSW Government to do everything possible to assist locals at this difficult time," Ms Elliot says in the statement.
Read the full statement here.