Councils and their communities will lead the next stage of flood clean-up efforts with support from the NSW and Australian Governments secured following Local Government NSW (LGNSW) advocacy.
“While focus for many people has moved on from recent floods to other things, the clean-up effort continues. Efforts now step up to more complex, council-led clean-up of residential properties, essential public assets and environmental recovery,” LGNSW President Linda Scott said.
“I thank both the State and Federal governments for responding so quickly to our calls for support and their commitment of funding to help meet costs over the extended recovery process.
“Through our advocacy, we were able to secure funding to cover the costs of this next stage of the clean-up effort.
“This includes State and Federal funding support for items such as the waiving of tip fees, contractor and temporary employee costs plus any consultancy costs, the hiring and operation of additional plant and equipment and the costs of council staff overtime incurred in the clean-up.
“This is an example of State and Australian governments partnering with local government to support council efforts to provide hard hit Aussies with a locally led recovery from disaster.
“We are keen to see this level of partnership continue, not just to assist recovery efforts but into the future to support locally-led economic recovery, resilience and growth.”
Cr Scott said the association had worked hard to secure immediate support from all levels of government after recent floods resulted in 63 local government areas being declared natural disaster areas.
“Through our advocacy efforts we saw a rapid response from rapid response multiagency relief teams made up of Public Works Advisory, NSW Environment Protection Authority, NSW Rural Fire Service and Fire and Rescue NSW members.
“They were joined by nearly 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel, who removed 900 tonnes of waste, cleared 170 kilometres of roads and delivered hundreds of kilos of fodder to local farmers.
“The past 12 months have thrown one disaster after another at councils and their communities, but they have more than risen to the challenge thanks to vital funding and other support we were able to secure from our State and Federal colleagues.”
Cr Scott said councils were already working to coordinate the next stage of the clean-up at a local level.