Record sum to cover flood damage

COFFS Harbour City Council has received a record sum to cover damage caused by last year’s disastrous floods – according to the State Government.

NSW Minister for Commerce Paul Lynch said yesterday $2.258 million had been approved in grants to Coffs Harbour City Council to cover the cost of emergency and restoration works.

The Minister said his predecessor John Robertson had approved the grants earlier this month in a letter to the council.

“The grants cover emergency works and repairs to council-owned assets as a result of two floods; one in late March and early April 2009 and the other in May 2009,” he said.

Mr Lynch said the damage bill for the March-April storm was $1.924 million and the bill for the May storm was $334,000.

“The $1.92 million grant to Coffs Harbour City Council for the April-May storm is the largest grant for a North Coast council in over a decade,” Mr Lynch said.

“Council’s damage bill includes the cost of emergency works and restoration works.

“A full program of eligible works for both storm events has been approved under the joint State-Commonwealth funding arrangements.”

Mr Lynch said it was unfortunate that even as the council was still cleaning up after the March-April floods, the city suffered more damage when heavy rain storms hit the area in May.

He said the damage caused by the second storm would be covered by a further government grant of $334,000 to the council.

“Council will be reimbursed in full for the cost of debris removal and operating community disaster recovery centres, as well as the cost to restore drainage infrastructure and recreation facilities,” Mr Lynch said.

Under an agreement with the Commonwealth, the NSW Government pays the first $106.1 million of all natural disaster costs in each year.



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