Parts of Sydney under water, NSW floods declared natural disaster

Disaster assistance is now available in 23 local government areas (LGAs) following severe storms and flooding which continue to impact large areas of Sydney and the New South Wales coast.

The Federal Government has declared the current NSW floods a natural disaster. This will enable access to emergency funding for those imapcted by the flooding. Rains continue to lash Sydney and NSW and it is estimated that around 50,000 people have been affected by evacuation orders and warnings. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who returned to Australia today from his overseas trip, which included a visit to Ukraine, had briefings with Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt upon his return.

Disaster assistance is now available in 23 local government areas (LGAs) following severe storms and flooding from 27 June 2022, which continue to impact large areas of Sydney and the New South Wales coast.

The LGAs are Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Canterbury Bankstown, Campbelltown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kiama, Lithgow, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Penrith, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, The Hills, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Wollongong.

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Federal Member for Hume and Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor MP visited south-west Sydney.

Assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the flooding has led to a large number of evacuations throughout Metropolitan Sydney, the Hawkesbury and the Central Coast, with major flood operations still ongoing. Minister Watt said:

“We have seen some of these impacted communities being hit by floods for a third and fourth time in 18 months, which is extremely distressing to the residents of these communities.”

Minister Watt added:

“The Australian and New South Wales governments have worked very cooperatively through this latest flood emergency, to ensure defence and other resources were deployed early and fast. Similarly, we’re now working hard together to make sure that impacted communities get the financial and other assistance they need as soon as possible.” 

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Stephanie Cooke said yesterday (4th July) that significant recovery support would be required to help support communities once the major weather event passes. Ms Cooke said.

“Today’s announcement will ensure immediate assistance is available to impacted communities, including assistance for people who have lost or had damage to their homes. While we are still very much in the emergency response phase of this developing weather event, as waters recede we will work with communities to assess longer term recovery needs and ensure appropriate long-term support is provided.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

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  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria apply);
  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged road and essential public assets;
  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations; and
  • Freight subsidies for primary producers.

The Federal Emergency Management Minister, Murray Watt, told the ABC that these payments would be uncapped, demand driven and be avliable for anyone who qualifies for them.

The NSW State Emergency Services (SES) has set up evacuation centres in several areas including Liverpool and Castle Hill.

The SES has carried out over 250 flood rescues so far including 22 overnight related to this emergency.

For emergency help in flood or storm contact NSW SES on 132500.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact Service NSW on 137788.