Funds pour in for flood works

THE bank accounts of two Coffs Coast councils are now healthier in the wake of the devastating 2009 inundation.

The State Government has signed off on two cheques totalling $672,351 for Coffs Harbour City, which completes $2.27 million in payments to restore council-owned assets damaged in the February, March/April and May storms.

In Nambucca Shire, a final progress payment of $9358 will cover that council's clean-up from the May 2009 disaster.

Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser welcomed the payments on his turf – funds which allowed the city council to “close the books” on its disrupted restoration program.

“The three storms came in fairly rapid succession, so just when the community was trying to get over one, the next one hit,” Mr Fraser said. “The March/April storms and floods were the worst for Coffs Harbour, which faced a bill of over $1.9m to meet emergency activities and restoration costs.

“Extensive localised flooding required a massive debris clean-up to get public areas back in order.

“Community recreational facilities along Coffs Creek were particularly badly hit.”

Mr Fraser said stormwater drainage was ruined, requiring extensive rebuilding, while heavy seas took their toll on the beachfront.

Oxley MP and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said Nambucca Council was offered $48,295 from State coffers to help meet the cost of emergency works and restoration of council-owned assets following the May 2009 tempest.

“Nambucca Shire Council received an earlier progress payment when the first stage of repairs was finished and the final payment follows council's advice that all eligible works have now been completed,” Mr Stoner said.

“The North Coast experienced one of the worst periods for storms in 2009 and Nambucca Shire Council, along with the majority of local councils in the region, had to call on the Natural Disaster Relief program to provide financial assistance.”

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