As the flooding crisis continues through the eastern states, Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Perin Davey, is urging Federal and State Governments to provide clear, concise and consistent information on what disaster assistance is available and how it can be accessed.
Senator Davey said there is wide-spread confusion about what assistance is available and where to go for information with varying clarity between the states.
“There is a range of assistance measures available through a combination of Federal and State Governments but how assessments are made and where to go to access assistance is not clear,” Senator Davey said.
“Some adjacent Local Government areas (LGA) have different approvals and funding even though they may be affected by the same weather event.
“Small businesses in flood affected NSW can apply for concessional loans while no LGA in Victoria has that available, but it is open for primary producers.
“Yes, they are declarations made by the States and I call on the State Governments to provide clear information like the Services NSW website.
“But, the Federal Government also needs to come clean as to why decisions that are wholly and solely in their hands are not consistent.
“For example, people in the Moira Shire on the Murray River in Victoria are not eligible for the Commonwealth funded Disaster Recovery Payment of $1,000 per adult, yet just next door, those in the Campaspe Shire are.
“To date, it would appear that not a single person in NSW is eligible for the $1,000 but they can apply for the Disaster Recovery Allowance for 13 weeks if they can’t work.
“No wonder people are confused,” she said.
Senator Davey called on the Federal Government to explain or rectify the inconsistencies and work with the states to improve communication efforts so people know where to go for assistance.
“A tweet is only useful if it gives people a link to follow to get help,” Senator Davey said.