MPs fight for waterlogged locals
COFFS Harbour's two MPs have joined forces to support our region's beleagured flood victims.
Federal member Mr Hartsuyker and State MP Andrew Fraser have launched a joint attack on the Rudd Government for not giving out one-off cash grants to those affected by the March 31 storms.
“Residents in the Coffs Harbour and the Bellingen Shires have had three major storm events since February this year,” Mr Fraser told the Coffs Coast Advocate.
“Why the Federal Government is failing to provide financial assistance to storm affected individuals, as provided to storm victims in northern Queensland and other flood affected areas of NSW this week, is beyond me.”
Both MPs spoke with Tony Burke, the Federal Minister for Agriculture, at the Coffs Harbour Show and tried to explain that flooding on the Coffs Coast was different to that in northern Queensland.
“We advised him that when flood water enters your farm, home or business for six minutes or six weeks, the damage is the same,” said Fraser.
An angry Hartsyuker confirmed the Prime Minister's office has advised him the extra financial assistance of $1000 per adult and $400 per child would not be paid to those affected by the March floods.
“The PM's office claims the only assistance that will be extended to both the May and March victims will be for small business and primary producers,” he said.
“Only individuals and families affected by the May floods will receive the $1000 and $400 Centrelink payments.
“March victims will not receive these payments.”
Both MP's were said to be 'gobsmacked' by the decision, while Fraser asked for a full explanation as to why monies would not be paid.