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Current position of flood funding for the Byron Shire

Mullumbimby in flood. Many people are suffering from the inundation of water from Cyclone Debbie. Photo supplied.

Mullumbimby in flood. Many people are suffering from the inundation of water from Cyclone Debbie. Photo supplied.

After more than six weeks since flood devastation, the case for category C funding for parts of Byron Shire and Burringbar have now been signed off by the NSW state government.

North coast flood recovery co-ordinator Euan Ferguson confirmed with The Echo that the request, which is funding assistance for primary producers and small businesses, ‘is now under consideration by the Commonwealth.’

As for the one off $1,000 payment to individuals affected by flooding, the Attorney Generals office say they are still waiting the NSW state government to forward further information on the requirement for individual disaster recovery payments in the Byron Shire. That assistance was offered to both Tweed and Lismore immediately after the flood. 

It’s prompted local Greens MP Tamara Smith to claim the ‘system is flawed’ and she questioned how Lismore and Tweed were declared eligible within first 48 hours of the flood. 

Yet locally, assistance for those who are still in need of household goods, food cards or a helping hand is still available from the Mullumbimby and District Neighbourhood Centre (MDNC).

MDNC manager Julie Williams says they have assisted residents from Mullumbimby, Main Arm, Billinudgel, Crabbes Creek, Burringbar, New Brighton, Ocean Shores, Goonengerry, Federal, Wilsons Creek and South Golden Beach.

‘The distribution of the funds is based on individual need,’ says Julie, and more than $4,000 has been distributed in food cards, and additional food cards have been provided by the Red Cross.’

The MDNC continues to work with the Salvation Army, who are currently also door-knocking throughout the Shire. 

‘As people move from crisis to longer term impact we anticipate needs will continue to shift as they come to terms with what has been lost and what will be required as time goes by. The process of distributing funds will continue for some time and rather than be prescriptive as to what people can be provided with, we are allowing enough flexibility for case by case assessment.’

‘We continue to reach out with the resources we have at hand and if you hear of anyone who is unaware that there is help available, please let them know to come to the centre at 55 Dalley St or call us on 6684 1286. Ask for Kim or Roberta and we can talk to them about how we can assist.’


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