The NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke visited the Grafton SES headquarters last week.
After surveying the widespread destruction caused by floodwaters throughout the Clarence Valley, the Premier and Minister met local SES volunteers, MPs and Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel, and addressed issues facing local communities impacted by the flood crisis.
Mr Perrottet acknowledged the hard work of emergency services and volunteers and said while the area had been adversely affected by a natural disaster, coordinated work between the State Government, SES, RFS, Resilience NSW, ADF and the Commonwealth was underway to provide care and support for residents in need.
“I want to see every one of our communities get back on their feet,” he said.
“It is going to take a long period of time, but we stand side by side with every single person, business, farm and agriculture producer who has been affected.
“We will work with you to get you through.”
Ms Cooke acknowledged the SES volunteers and emergency services personnel who travelled from other states and territories to offer their assistance to Clarence Valley residents.
She also thanked the local community for their patience as SES crews endeavoured to respond to every call for help.
“Our volunteers are tired as everyone can probably imagine,” the Minister said.
“They’ve been working around the clock, and I know they will keep going one job at a time.
“They are working frantically, and they are supported by other emergency services as they go to the aid of the community.”
The Minister spoke of her aerial surveillance of the Clarence Valley, describing the widespread devastation caused by the flooding as beyond anything she could have imagined.
“I want to reach out to the community and say I’ve seen the destruction firsthand, the Premier has been alongside me, and we are in lock stead with the Prime Minister, with the Federal Government, with the State Government, and more broadly with our local MPs to make sure that we get our communities through this difficult journey,” she said.
“From my perspective and as the Premier has indicated, we stand firm with our communities, and we will continue to work alongside you.
“It will be a long road ahead, but if we pull together, we will get through this.”
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis thanked the Premier and Minister for visiting the Clarence Valley and said it was important for them to see the widespread devastation caused by the flood so they can appreciate the level of support needed for the clean-up and recovery which is currently underway.
He said the Premier is committed to working closely with local councils and the Federal Government to ensure assistance is provided to those in need.
NSW disaster relief grants and Federal Government disaster recovery payments have been announced for flood-affected small businesses and primary producers.
Grants are co-funded by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments.
Please visit www.nsw.gov.au/floods or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.