LGNSW advocacy pays off for flood affected councils

Flood affected councils are being urged to take advantage of a range of emergency and clean-up assistance that has become available for their communities thanks to the advocacy efforts of NSW’s peak body for councils.

Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said NSW and Federal governments had listened to the association’s calls for councils and communities to have urgent access to clean up and recovery funding to help them get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“The floods are simply the latest in a string of disasters and challenges to hit our councils, following on from droughts, bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cr Scott said.

“I have spent the past week speaking to State and Federal members on both sides of the political fence to raise awareness and ensure councils were given everything they need to provide a locally-led recovery for their communities.

“It is pleasing that both State and Federal governments have responded so fast, promising a range of clean-up support through the NSW Strom and Flood Clean-up Program.”

Assistance through the program includes clean-up “strike forces” comprising of Australian Defence Force, Rural Fire Service, and Fire and Rescue NSW personnel and clean-up and debris removal activities from residences, flood-damaged public assets such as roads, community, recreation and cultural assets such as sporting fields and environmental assets such as beaches.

Financial assistance will also be provided for flood-impacted small businesses and primary producers.

It follows on from last week’s announcement that the NSW Government would waive its Waste Levy fee for people disposing of flood-generated waste so they could use local tips without having to pay tip fees.

“People who endured last week’s floods are already facing heartbreaking loss and the arduous task of cleaning up. They should not be hit with tip fees on top of that,” Cr Scott said.

“We have been calling on the Government to permanently waive the levy it collects – around $800 million annually – in the case of natural disasters such as fires and floods to allow councils to focus on getting their communities back on their feet.

“This is why LGNSW has worked hard to get the Government to waive this fee and why we are so pleased they’ve responded to our calls.

Cr Scott said people dealing with flood-related waste should check with their local council for the name and opening status of the nominated facilities, as well as for any specific requirements to dispose of flood-damaged waste.

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