Lismore flood recovery efforts win NSW Resilience Awards
HARD work, determination, empathy and a can-do attitude has led to the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Lismore Helping Hands were recognised by the NSW Government for their outstanding efforts in building disaster resilience,
At a special awards ceremony at Parliament House today, the 2017 NSW Get Ready Community Award and the Resilient Australia Awards showcase important disaster preparedness initiatives that often go unseen. The awards aim to inspire communities to strengthen their capabilities to withstand and recover from natural disasters.
Minister Grant congratulated the Lismore winners for their extraordinary efforts.
"The LCCI won the Resilient Australia Business Award for its exemplary leadership, advocacy and support for their business community in the aftermath of the Northern Rivers floods (and) the LCCI has worked tirelessly and continues to strengthen the resilience of local businesses through the Lismore Business Recovery Taskforce," Mr Grant said.
"Lismore Helping Hands won the NSW Get Ready Community Award for their establishment of a Facebook group and Community Hub that connected vulnerable people with volunteers and supplies at a critical time. They have strengthened the fabric of their community and ensured Lismore is now a more connected and resilient place."
LCCI president Deborah Benhayon said the award highlights the recovery initiative actioned by the LCCI post the March weather event.
"Special thanks to the Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber, the NSW Small Business Commissioner Office, the Office of Emergency Management and the Lismore City Council for their collaboration," she said.
"Thank you also to Hon Thomas George MP and Kevin Hogan MP for their endless support and assistance in the recovery of the business community, and most of all, thank you to our business community who ceaselessly remind us of just how resilient we are together."
Thomas George MP, Member for Lismore, attended the award ceremony.
Mr George said they recipients deserved the awards due to their selflessness and commitment these winners represent
"The LCCI did a tremendous job and I congratulate them on their award and wish them the best of luck as they progress to the national level of the Resilient Australia Awards," Mr George said.
"The Helping Hands Facebook Group proved just how effective social media can be when the community was doing it tough. It connected thousands of vulnerable people in urgent need with volunteers willing to help."
Mr George said the Helping Hands Hub then provided a viral meeting point where tradespeople, counsellors and businesses all banded together to provide almost 1000 separate trade tasks and over 1400 household welfare checks, which was an incredible effort.
"I thank and congratulate all those involved in the Helping Hands Facebook Group and the Hub for their time and service during the floods and while recovery efforts took place," he said.
Mr Grant said the Resilient Australia and Get Ready Award winners exemplified the importance of local communities joining forces to pro-actively build and strengthen resilience in the event of natural disasters.
"While our emergency service agencies do remarkable work protecting and supporting communities in times of need, we all have a responsibility to think ahead, get ready, and be as prepared for natural disasters as we possibly can be," Mr Grant said.