Fed Govt Announces ‘Uncapped’ Flood Relief Funds As Rain And Damaging Wind Forecast To Continue


The Federal Government has made disaster relief payments available to affected residents in NSW as the rain was forecast to continue and flooding has shown no signs of easing in some areas.

Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt announced the funding on Tuesday morning saying it would be “uncapped” and “demand-driven”.

Residents of 23 flood-affected areas will be eligible. The money will go to people whose homes or belongings have been damaged, to support local councils in clean up efforts and restoration of public services, loans for small businesses and non-profits, and freight subsidies for producers.

Eligible areas include 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, Wingecaribee, Wollondilly and Wollongong.

Watt said this was “the beginning of the process in terms of disaster payments”.

“Late last night, both the federal and state governments activated what are known as the disaster recovery funding arrangements and that triggers the first round of disaster support that can be provided from, to individuals, farmers, small businesses, councils, sporting groups, a wide range of assistance that is now available,” he told ABC News Breakfast.

“[They] are uncapped payments, they are demand-driven and they will be available for anyone who qualifies.”

Watt also confirmed Prime Minister Anthony Albanese would touch down in the flood-affected areas within 36 hours.

On Tuesday morning the PM was travelling back from Europe after he attended the NATO summit and visited Ukraine.

On the ground the situation continues to worsen as the rain keeps coming.

NSW SES recieved 5,300 requests for assistance and performed 252 flood rescues on Monday night and into Tuesday morning. 97 evacuation orders and 60 warnings are in place across Greater Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra regions which impact about 45,000 people.

SES spokesperson Ashley Sullivan said conditions were dangerous and wouldn’t be safer until the end of the week.

“This risk is not going to diminish today or tomorrow, particularly on the Hawkesbury-Nepean system.

“The flood warnings will remain current there for most of this week and that threat will remain.”

Sydney received 71mm of rain overnight between midnight and 8am Tuesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued severe weather warnings Tuesday for heavy rainfall dangerous winds up to 90km/h.

“That persistent rain is hanging around the Hunter today, likely to move to the Mid North Coast tomorrow,” BoM forecaster Jane Golding said on Tuesday at about 10:30am.

“The floods, even if the rain has eased, will wet those areas where the rain has eased and we’re seeing showers at the moment, it will take a bit of time for the water to make its way out to sea.

“So major flood warnings current likely to continue for the next couple of days.”

If you can, please remain indoors today.