A national emergency has been declared for parts of NSW and Queensland as the federal government ramps up support for flood-affected communities.
Grants of $1 million to support urgent clean-up works have been made available to 45 local government areas in NSW and 19 in Queensland.
After declaring the emergency – the first time this power has been invoked by a federal government – Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday that an additional $551.7 million will be provided to support flood-affected communities across NSW.
It follows a $435 million funding package Mr Morrison announced on 3 March to assist affected communities in NSW with cleaning up and removing flood and storm-related damage, debris, and green waste.
Resilience NSW and other NSW government agencies will work with councils to coordinate clean-up activities in their communities.
Announcing the national emergency on Wednesday, Mr Morrison said the decision would “cut through any red tape” in delivering services and support on the ground.
He said three LGAs – Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Clarence Valley – were facing catastrophic conditions and needed additional support, including extra disaster recovery payments.
“While people in northern NSW aren’t able to work, are still clearing out their homes and businesses, the extra two lots of $1000 payments we’re rolling out to eligible families and individuals will give them some certainty as they start to rebuild their lives,” he said.
Among other support measures, the Commonwealth has earmarked $6.5 million to provide Community Recovery Officers to support impacted communities.
Last week, Mr Morrison authorised the Australian Defence Force to help with flood rescues and clean-up; about 4400 personnel have now been deployed.
Click here to read the support and funding measures for disaster-impacted communities in South-East Queensland provided so far by the Queensland and federal governments.
The 45 disaster-declared LGAs in NSW include Armidale, Ballina, Bayside, Bega Valley, Bellingen, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Byron, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Eurobodalla, Fairfield, Georges River, Glen Innes Severn, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner Wests, Kempsey, Kiama, Ju-Ring-Gai, Kyogle, Lismore, Liverpool City, Mid Coast, Nambucca, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie/Hastings, Richmond, Ryde, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, Tenterfield, The Hills, Tweed, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, and Wollongong.
DRFA assistance was made available to a further 12 NSW LGAs on Friday, including Cessnock City Council, Cumberland City Council, Dungog Shire Council, Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Lithgow City Council, Maitland City Council, Mid-Western Regional Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Singleton Shire Council, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council.
The 19 disaster-declared Queensland LGAs include Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast, and Toowoomba.