Federal government fails the Hawkesbury on flood funding again – MP Templeman
Updated: Apr 11
As the Hawkesbury once again starts to clean up after yet another flood – the third since the beginning of March and fifth in a row annually – Labor MP Susan Templeman says the Morrison government is again failing the Hawkesbury with its refusal to extend its additional flood funding to the region.
It’s not just Ms Templeman – our Federal MP – who is unhappy with the lack of Federal financial help, the NSW Premier and his deputy who are members of the State Coalition government have also said the federal government has been slow to act.
Back a week ago, Premier Dominic Perrottet and Deputy Premier Paul Toole announced $20,000 payments to those who were uninsured but also criticised the Morrison government for failing to act sooner on funding help.
Macquarie MP Susan Templeman and Shadow Agriculture Minister Julie Collins stand on a driveway cleared of mud from the last flood during a visit to Cornwallis turf farmers on March 6, just before the area was again inundated
Deputy Premier Toole said the NSW government had wanted to announce the funding earlier but had been waiting on Federal government money too to bump up the $20,000 –ideally they wanted it to total $50,000 with Federal input of $30,000 - but so far that has not occurred.
“We've been working on this package now for a number of weeks, we can’t wait any longer,” said the Deputy Premier last week as the $20,000 state funding was announced.
Premier Perrottet said NSW welcomed, “as much support as we can get from the federal government”.
“But ultimately we're not going to wait, we're going to get on with the job and we're going to rebuild our communities,” he said.
“We’re in our third flood in a month, and yet the supports that are gifted to other areas are not made available by the Morrison Government to the Hawkesbury,” MP Susan Templeman said.
“I congratulate the NSW Government for including the Hawkesbury in its grants of $20,000 for flood-affected households, but it is shameful that Scott Morrison refuses to be part of that funding."
“The sooner residents are able to get back into their homes, the better it is for them, their neighbours and the local economy.”
But Ms Templeman said the Hawkesbury is also excluded from the grants available to small businesses in other parts of the country that experienced floods, where they have suffered a significant drop in business.
“If someone in Wilberforce has had a drop in their turnover as a result of a natural disaster, they shouldn’t be treated any differently to someone in another part of the state or the country,” Ms Templeman said.
“No matter where an Australian lives, if they have suffered a similar loss of property or income in a natural disaster, they should be treated the same.
“I call on Scott Morrison to give desperate Hawkesbury households affected by flooding what they deserve.”
Ms Templeman said the other vitally urgent issue was the way federal funding for fixing flooded roads was being held up by a bureaucratic process.
“I am appalled by the delays in agreed disaster funding making its way from the federal coffers through the state and to councils, but I have seen the same issues in the wake of bushfires, storms and floods,” Ms Templeman said.
“It’s clear that there is not enough urgency in the process, or we wouldn’t today be watching places like Cornwallis flood as they never ever have previously, simply because repairs from the 2021 floods weren’t made.”
“A failure to act with urgency has led to much worse consequences for everyone, including landowners and drivers.
“People who are right now losing tires and risking accidents on pot-holed roads across the Hawkesbury need confidence that red tape is not holding up the repairs.
“If an Albanese Labor Government is elected at the next election, we have committed to cut red tape so disaster resilience and recovery funding can get out the door faster.”
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