NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet visited the Mullumbimby District and Neighbourhood Centre in Mullumbimby this afternoon with local member Tamara Smith.
The Premier, who was visiting the area without his usual media contingent, to find out first-hand about the situation, also spoke to Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon.
Mayor Lyon said that he had relayed to the Premier the importance of the cleanup effort, which he said must progress in order for the healing process to being. ‘This has been a traumatic event for the community,’ said Mayor Lyon.
‘I told the Premier that we have been impressed with the response so far, in terms of financial commitment and the resources on the ground. But there is much more to do, in terms of emergency housing which was already a big problem.
‘We talked also about the need for planning reform so that we have short term housing in place, and therefore have time to work on the long term solutions. I also reminded the Premier of how our businesses have suffered.
‘The Premier recognised that the clean up was very important and that we needed more resources at the moment,’ said the mayor.
Ms Tamara Smith, Greens member for the local seat of Ballina, said that the major point she made to the Premier was that, ‘Our community has suffered unnecessary additional trauma because of the time lag it took for rescue and recovery support to get in. Outside agencies simply could not or did not get in when we needed them most.’
‘I told the Premier that we need to resource and empower our local rescue agencies and local support networks to do exactly what they did do so well – but with training, formal recognition, governance structures, financial support, and the mandate to enact those roles when outside agencies can’t get in during a disaster,’ she said.
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