Images collected by Byron councillor Duncan Dey of damage at Upper Coopers Creek.
Images collected by Byron councillor Duncan Dey of damage at Upper Coopers Creek.

Pollies leave flood victims up the creek

Opinion

THE residents of Upper Coopers Creek have been through enough.

All but cut off from the wider world, still stuck with much of the damage they suffered during Cyclone Oswald, it's reasonable to think authorities would be falling over themselves to make sure they got the help they needed.

And yesterday's Byron Shire Council meeting ought to have been a tipping point, with the presentation of personal stories direct from some residents and the presentation of a collection of stories and images of the damage and suffering at Upper Coopers Creek by Councillor Duncan Dey - all in the presence of Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot.

This is the sort of issue politicians usually love - something that, in the scheme of things, is relatively cheap to fix, yet is able to generate enormous goodwill among voters. Given we're in an election year and Labor needs all the help it can get if it wants Ms Elliot to hold her seat and for it to hold government, it seems like a no-brainer.

However, Ms Elliot's response to the presentation wasn't one to fill you with confidence.

She said she would pass on news of the council's motion to the relevant authorities, but had already consulted with the Attorney General and been told Upper Coopers Creek "didn't fit the criteria" for compensation from the government.

If the residents of Upper Coopers Creek don't "fit the criteria" for compensation then the criteria must be wrong.

What is needed now is for the Government to recognise that it needs to get on and help a group of people who are sorely in need of assistance.



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