Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declared the NSW floods a national emergency. The declaration will allow the federal government to speed up it’s response and deploy recovery aid and support towards the worst hit suburbs in the state. Mr Morrison made the announcement during his trip to the flood-ravaged area of Lismore which was met with protests and angry slogans by the impacted residents of the area.
The national emergency declaration is a legislative power that was first proposed following the devastating Black Summer bushfires in 2019/20.
Both the State and Federal governments have come under fire for their flood response in Queensland and NSW. Defence personnel are currently deployed on both borders to help with recovery efforts.
Residents in northern NSW will be able to apply for financial support after the declaration of the emergency. Weekly payments of $2,000 for adults and $800 for children will be made towards residents of Lismore, Richmond Valley and Clarence Valley local councils.
“There is no flood event that’s occurred in this part of Australia like this in any one person’s living or recorded memory, and that is a profound statement,” Mr Morrison said.
Additionally, $25 million will be spent on emergency and food relief for impacted residents along with counselling services.
Tens of thousands of Sydney residents have been forced to evacuate their homes after severe flash flooding across the city. The death toll from the east coast floods has risen to 21 as of yesterday as many parts of the state continue to fight heavy downpours and landslides.
The Northern Beaches and Northern suburbs were especially impacted following yesterday’s downpour. Heavy delays and traffic jams followed the flooding of Roseville Bridge on Warringah Road. The floods have also led to a number of transport delays with commuters being urged to avoid any non-essential travel.
Although Sydneysiders had a bit of a relief from the constant downpour today, The Bureau of Meteorology has issued another warning for parts of NSW for intense rainfall and destructive winds.
In the meantime, Sydney has taken to social media to share images and videos of the devastating impact of the NSW floods.
Additional measures announced include $7.8 million for businesses in NSW and Qld, $31.2 million for mental health support services for impacted communities and $5.4 million for legal services.
Find more information and support services at the NSW government website.