24 February 2022

November disaster declaration extended for seventh time after summer storms

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Beresford Rd, Rose Valley

Beresford Rd, Rose Valley, following the extreme weather late last year. Photo: Snowy Monaro Regional Council.

The State Government has extended the disaster declaration covering severe weather and flooding across NSW for the seventh time, and extended eligibility for disaster funding to an additional local government area.

The additional LGA is Bland Shire in the Riverina, which takes in West Wyalong.

This extension – more than three months after the initial declaration – demonstrates the ongoing repercussions and serious difficulties councils across the state face in the aftermath of the recent extreme weather.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council has been successful in obtaining disaster funding from the State Government to address the widespread damage to the region’s road network following many months of heavy rainfall and flooding.

It said, with rural unsealed roads hit especially hard, much of the funding received so far is going towards resheeting, grading, drainage and heavy patching work across more than 1700 kilometres of unsealed and rural roads in the Snowy Monaro region.

“Community reports of damage in these rural areas are a vital source of information for council, and we would like to thank the people of the Snowy Monaro for their continued efforts in letting us know through emails and social media direct messaging about road damage across the region,” a spokesperson said.

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“In combination with regular patrols and scheduled maintenance, these community reports allow us to plan and prioritise what work needs to be done and where – as well as allowing us to seek further funding from higher levels of government to deal with weather damage in our local government area.”

Community members are encouraged to report road damage in their area through email to [email protected], by phone on 1300 345 345, through the Snap Send Solve app (with a photo) or by Facebook direct message.

NSW Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said 60 LGAs have been impacted by severe weather and flooding.

“In the Bland Shire, flooding and heavy rainfall had a significant impact on primary producers, with estimated landholder damages totalling $3 million,” Ms Cooke said.

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“Assistance is now available to primary producers, small business owners, households and individuals in the form of recovery support grants and concessional interest rate loans.”

Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie said damage assessments were still ongoing in a number of LGAs, particularly those areas which had received ongoing severe weather throughout December and into early January.

“We continue to work closely with the NSW Government, councils and communities to ensure that people who have been impacted by this severe weather event are able to access the support they need when they need it most,” Ms McKenzie said.

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