Richmond MP Justine Elliot, NSW opposition leader Luke Foley and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord outside Tweed Heads Police Station on Monday.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot, NSW opposition leader Luke Foley and Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord outside Tweed Heads Police Station on Monday. Liana Turner

One year on, residents still displaced after flood

A REPORT by the University Centre for Rural Health revealed 4 per cent of residents affected by the North Coast floods are still displaced from their homes.

It also declared a fifth of the residents were "still distressed” about the floods and there was a higher risk of mental health outcomes for those who experienced flooding of their properties than those who did not experience any flood damage.

With the first anniversary in just two weeks, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley raised these issues and the inadequate response from the Liberal-National State Government to provide help to flood-affected families and businesses.

During Question Time in the NSW Parliament yesterday, Mr Foley asked Premier Gladys Berejiklian: "What is your response to research from the University Centre for Rural Health reporting 4 per cent of residents affected by North Coast floods are still displaced from their homes, with the first anniversary of the North Coast floods approaching in two weeks?”.

Mr Foley said instead of addressing the question, the Premier took the three minutes allocated for the answer to praise her own response to the emergency.

In the aftermath of the floods that swept through the region in late March 2017, Mr Foley said the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government failed to respond in a timely way to provide assistance.

"Unfortunately, the Berejiklian Government has the wrong priorities,” Mr Foley said.

"It can spend billions on Sydney stadiums but it is unable to help those in need of accommodation and support - especially after this major natural disaster.”

Last year, Mr Foley accompanied by the Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord and Federal MP for Richmond Mrs Justine Elliot visited the region twice to hear first-hand the experiences of flood-affected families and businesses, and released an 11-point bi-partisan blueprint to help the flood-affected community.

Mr Foley said NSW Labor also devoted two days in Question Time in the NSW Parliament last year on the plight of North Coast residents.

"The North Coast deserves support. The community was worried that the Premier would arrive with cameras and big promises - and then nothing would happen and they would be forgotten,” Mr Foley said.

"Almost a year later, we sadly see that this has been the case.”



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