MP Andrew Fraser.
MP Andrew Fraser. Trevor Veale

Grant to relieve rain pain

LOCAL state member Andrew Fraser announced this morning along with Minister for Finance and Services Greg Pearce that Coffs Harbour City Council will receive a grant of $201,956 to assist in the reconstruction of council-owned assets damaged by storms and floods in June.

Mr Pearce said the council was eligible for the grant following the declaration of a natural disaster for 21 local government areas after damaging storms and floods hit coastal communities from the Queensland border down to the Hunter.

"The storms and resultant floods, which began on the June long weekend, swept through Northern NSW, Mid North and Hunter coastal regions causing a significant damage," Mr Pearce said.

"All damage that met the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements eligibility criteria has been approved for assistance under the grant.

"Whether it's supporting jobs, delivering services and infrastructure or improving services, the NSW Government is determined to help NSW families and communities meet their potential."

Mr Fraser welcomed the grant which he said would cover the costs of repairing important infrastructure across the Coffs Harbour local government area.

"Thousands of people were evacuated from riverside towns in the Mid North Coast region, communities were isolated and tens of thousands of acres of farmland went under water," Mr Fraser said.

"Major restoration works funded under this grant include the repair of the Mangrove Boardwalk near Hood Street and the footpath in the Greenlea Crescent/Oxley Close Reserve.

"In addition, the grant will cover the full cost of clearing storm debris, such as fallen trees and branches and mud and sludge, from council-owned property, footpaths and road verges.

"Once council certifies that the eligible works have been completed it will be reimbursed up to the approved amount."

Under an agreement with the Commonwealth, the NSW Government pays the first $119.7 million of all natural disaster costs in each year.

The Commonwealth matches NSW expenditure for costs between $119.7 million and $209.5 million and beyond that pays for three-quarters of all costs.

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