State Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro with recovery coordinator, Euan Ferguson (left) and Lismore MP Thomas George.
State Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro with recovery coordinator, Euan Ferguson (left) and Lismore MP Thomas George. Claudia Jambor

Minister delivers $1m to boost flood-affected business

A MILLION-dollar fund to kick-start flood-affected businesses was announced today by the state Minister for Small Business and Deputy Premier during his tour of Lismore.

John Barilaro described the money as "an activation fund" with the goal to reinvigorate embattled businesses by engaging the Tweed and Lismore business communities with State and Local Governments to tap into new opportunities.

"Its about assuring this community even though the floods have gone away the government is still here," Mr Barilaro said.

"We will be here in the weeks, months and year ahead to make sure the community gets back on its feet."

The minister also said the North Coast is a step closer to activating Category C disaster relief funding.

He said Premier Gladys Berejiklian wrote to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday night and lodged the request for the Federal Government to declare Category C disaster grants.

 

Minister Barilaro speaking with Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Deborah Benhayon and Lismore MP Thomas George.
Minister Barilaro speaking with Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Deborah Benhayon and Lismore MP Thomas George. Claudia Jambor

Mr Barilaro couldn't confirm when the request will be processed but expected the Federal Government would sign off on it shortly.

Lismore MP Thomas George said the business community helped to expedite progress toward securing Category C funding, acknowledging the more than 720 businesses who participated in the Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry's online flood survey.

The Deputy Premier maintained the State Government's promise to be "tough on insurance companies shirking their responsibilities."

Mr Barilaro said he'd support an inquiry into definitions of natural disasters by insurance companies.

Conflicting flood definitions used by different firms was flagged as a concern to the government by Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Mr George.

Mr Barilaro also hinted at "significant funding streams for regional NSW" to be included in the next state budget.



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