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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Humans and wildlife need help during and post floods

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The recent storms and flooding across NSW and Queensland has left not only the human communities devastated but also wildlife. From government to the Humane Society International (HSI) organisations are swinging into action to provide help and assistance where needed.

Council staff closing the levee at Lismore. Photo supplied.


Disaster recovery assistance has been made available to many local government areas (LGA) across the North Coast following the recent following the severe storms and floods.

Lismore, Kyogle, and Richmond Valley are among the LGAs that have been declared eligible for the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). Others include Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Kempsey, Mid-Coast, Nambucca Valley, Port Macquarie Hastings, Port Stephens, and Tenterfield.

Labor MP Janelle Saffin. Photo supplied.

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin welcomed disaster recovery assistance for three of the four LGAs in her electorate, which she had lobbied NSW Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott for earlier this week.

‘Sometimes quiet advocacy is the way to go. I let (Federal Member for Page) Kevin Hogan know I had had a good hearing from Minister Elliott,’ Ms Saffin said.

‘This will be good news for Lismore City, Kyogle and Tenterfield Shire councils seeking to repair damaged roads and bridges, and for those residents badly affected by flooding and storm events.

‘I know Tweed Shire Council is also assessing the extent of its damage and has even offered to help Mid North Coast councils with clean-up by sending down machinery.

‘Many of the region’s macadamia farmers will welcome the declarations too as the Australian Macadamia Society had approached me for assistance.’

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said ‘Severe weather and flooding has caused significant damage to roads, businesses and residential properties, with our councils now starting the clean-up work and repairs to infrastructure.

‘We’re prepared to do what it takes to further assist councils in their response to the devastating storms and major floods impacting individuals and communities across our region,’ he said.

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

  • help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged
  • support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets
  • concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations
  • freight subsidies for primary producers, and
  • grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

If you need help in a disaster call NSW SES on 132 500 or Emergency Services on Triple-Zero (000).

Support others or access assistance:

The culvert leading to Palmwoodsin MainArm. Photo Riley Vanderbyl.


Floods can be as devastating for wildlife as other disasters such as fires, and volunteer wildlife carers can quickly become inundated with animals needing help according to HIS.

‘This disaster is taking a terrible toll on many communities and is also having an impact on wildlife, with carers facing an influx of injured animals and damage to their facilities. We have reached out to hundreds of wildlife carers to offer our assistance,’ said Evan Quartermain, HSI’s Head of Disaster Response.

Platypus and other wildlife are at risk from floods. Photo Macadamia Castle

‘Wildlife carers are absolutely crucial to the rescue and recovery of native Australian animals at the best of times, and even more so when they’re facing disasters such as these terrible floods. With government assistance importantly being provided for livestock and companion animals in distress, we can’t forget that many wild animals are also suffering immensely due to the flooding we have seen this week.’

Ground dwelling animals like echidnas and wombats are at particular risk as burrows and low-lying areas become flooded, while platypus, turtles and other aquatic animals face severe impacts from polluted runoff and the sheer volume of water surging downstream. Birds are also under great threat as wild weather knocks nests out of trees, and species such as flying-foxes, which rely on nectar to feed, may face starvation events as their food is washed away. These animals, if rescued, inevitably find their way into the hands of a volunteer wildlife carer for recovery.

‘Volunteer wildlife carers are stretched thin rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife following disasters. HSI started an emergency donation fund this week to help these selfless people manage the flood fallout and our supporters immediately responded to lend a hand. We’re here to make sure wildlife carers get the help they need in these trying times, with emergency shelters for rescued dingoes and water pumps to empty flooded wombat burrows among support already provided,’concluded Mr Quartermain.

To donate to wildlife victims of the flooding in NSW and Queensland: Please call 1800 333 737 or visit HSI’s website.

Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers can be contacted 24/7 on 6628 1866 or access alternative wildlife carer support on 1800 333 737 or visit the Wildlife Land Trust website.

General emergency advice:

To stay up to date on the latest emergency service information, follow the NSW SES on social media and visit the website at www.ses.nsw.gov.au

  • If you’re in an area where internet service is difficult, tune in to your local ABC Radio channel for the latest updates.
  • You can also check the latest road closures and advice at www.livetraffic.comor call 132 701 or visit www.myroadinfo.com.au
  • Follow your local Shire Council on social media for updates on conditions in the local area.



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