THE significant flooding which affected large swathes of the Coffs Coast and hinterland has triggered actions from governments with affected residents now able to receive disaster assistance.

Emergency financial assistance is now available for residents in the Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Clarence Valley and Nambucca shires who have been severely affected by the recent storms and floods.

Communities along the Bellinger and Orara rivers were particularly affected after both rivers reached moderate flood levels, inundating properties and cutting off roads, some of which have been severely damaged.

The Orara River spills out into the surrounding farmland at Glenreagh. Photo: Noel Backman
The Orara River spills out into the surrounding farmland at Glenreagh. Photo: Noel Backman

Cowper MP Pat Conaghan said those with damaged homes or belongings and councils with damaged assets should access assistance.

“Some residents have had a difficult time this week due to flash flooding and severe winds and I know councils are counting the cost of the clean-up bill and damage to roads and bridges,” he said.

Affected residents can contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 to see if they are eligible.

Meanwhile, Coffs Harbour State Emergency Service unit commander James Daniels praised the community for their efforts during the flooding, noting they did not have to carry out a single flood rescue.

Lavenders Bridge at Bellingen under water this week.
Lavenders Bridge at Bellingen under water this week.

Not only did that indicate people were getting the message about flood dangers, it meant the community, including volunteers at the SES, were safer for it.

“Every time we do get (a flood rescue call out) I wonder whether the person is going to make it home safely and whether our team will make it home safely,” he said.

“Despite the inundations and everything that is out there, we have not had one flood rescue this entire event.

The community is absolutely doing a phenomenal job.”

DISASTER ASSISTANCE INFORMATION 

Disaster assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements to Armidale, Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell, Kempsey, Kyogle, Lismore, Nambucca, Port Macquarie – Hastings, Richmond Valley and Tweed Councils

Assistance may include:

  • help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged
  • in-kind assistance such as emergency accommodation, food hampers or small cash payments

to purchase essential items, as well as grants to replace essential household contents or

repair structural damage to homes

  • support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring

damaged essential public assets

  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit

organisations

  • freight subsidies for primary producers, and
  • grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444



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