Residents at two Tweed caravan parks which were deemed a health risk due to the recent floods face eviction tomorrow, and the NSW Opposition has called on the state government to ‘rescue’ them.
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley raised the north coast floods issue again in state parliament yesterday saying he wanted immediate action for the residents at the Gateway Lifestyle Tweed Shores and the Chinderah Lake caravan parks.
Mr Foley asked NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian about the fate of the residents whose homes were inundated with sewage and floodwater and deemed a health risk and ‘uninhabitable’.
On Tuesday, the opposition leader announced Labor’s non-partisan flood package for the NSW north coast, which included a moratorium on payroll tax and two special funds to help rebuild infrastructure and help businesses get back on their feet.
Yesterday in parliament, Mr Foley asked the premier what steps were being taken to rescue elderly pensioners at the two parks facing eviction on Friday because their home sites were declared an uninhabitable health risk after the recent floods.
Labor yesterday dedicated all five questions without notice allocated in Question Time to challenge the Ms Berejiklian on what assistance she has provided to the flood-affected north coast community.
The questions were:
1. Will the Premier provide flood-affected businesses in Murwillumbah, Lismore and across the North Coast with a 12-month moratorium on payroll tax to assist them to retain their workforces while they recover from the floods?
2. Will the Premier advise the House what representations she has made to the Federal Government regarding the eligibility criteria for disaster assistance to areas in the Byron and Tweed shires such as Tumbulgum, Stokers Siding, Mooball and Crabbes Creed, which have so far missed out on assistance?
3. Will she establish an infrastructure fund to help North Coast councils repair roads, bridges and other infrastructure damaged by the floods?
4. Will the Government provide targeted industry assistance to help flood-damaged small, medium and large businesses, including primary producers, to cover cash flow shortfalls due to stock losses and damaged equipment as well as undertake rebuilding?
5. Will the Premier conduct an independent inquiry to hear from local governments and emergency workers to determine whether the Lismore and Murwillumbah levees should be raised or relocated?
Labor’s flood package plan for the NSW North Coast includes the waiving of payroll tax and the setting up of two one-off infrastructure and business assistance funds for businesses and local councils.
Shadow north coast minister Walt Secord said the elderly residents ‘need help and the state government and the premier have to step in and provide them with assistance.’
‘This is about helping the most vulnerable in our community,’ Mr Secord said.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot said the north coast charities were ’doing their best’, but the state government had to help the residents.