As communities already battered by numerous natural disasters face more rain, the Government has confirmed its response has been to do nothing except re-announce funding committed by the former Nationals and Liberal Coalition Government.
Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey, confirmed through questions to the Minister, $75 million in funding for NSW announced by the Prime Minister at the recent Bush Summit in Griffith wasn’t new funding at all and it was actually the third time the same bucket of money had been announced.
“Minister Watt was highly critical of the previous Government accusing it of a slow response to areas impacted by floods earlier this year, yet now he is in Government he hasn’t got any more money out the door, nor has any expenditure been expedited,” Senator Davey said.
“The re-announcements have confused, disappointed and angered families that have already had to suffer through several floods.
“Delays by the Minister and mixed messaging does nothing to restore confidence and hope to these communities.
Senator Davey said she welcomed the confirmation of the former Government’s commitment of $150 million for the Northern Rivers in this financial year from the Minister.
“I know northern NSW communities will be relieved this Government will honour our promise to use the full 2022-23 Disaster Recovery Funds for flood mitigation.
“However, it shouldn’t have taken over 100 days in Government to get this commitment and only from questioning in the Senate during question time.
“Given the standards expected by Labor when they were in opposition, I would have expected more clarity and transparency regarding support for these communities still recovering from the worst floods in living memory,” Senator Davey said.