The New South Wales Government yesterday (Wednesday, June 8) supported a crossbench motion in NSW Parliament that their response to the Northern Rivers floods was “insufficient”.
The motion was put forward in the Legislative Council by Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party, Mark Pearson, and passed without opposition.
Detailing the effects of the floods on Northern Rivers residents and businesses, Mr Pearson also outlined the failures of the NSW Government to assist those needing help.
“I acknowledge that some level of the funding has been promised to the community, but red tape and bureaucratic obstacles have made it difficult for traumatised survivors to successfully lodge their legitimate claims,” Mr Pearson said in his speech.
He noted that of 9,500 applications lodged for rental support payments, only 1,300 have been paid.
Similarly, 14, 964 applications have been lodged for small business grants, with less than 15 per cent of them approved so far.
Mr Pearson called on the Government to improve the speed and delivery of relief services and grant funds, as well pay the Council rates of flood-affected residents and businesses for the 2022-23 year, as was done for the Black Summer bush fire-ravaged towns in 2019-20.
The motion also addressed the tens of thousands of animals displaced by the floods, and the tireless work of local animal carers.
“We have seen that the Government has not heeded the call to help those agencies caring for animals affected by the floods,” Mr Pearson said in his speech.
“Funding must be provided for animal rescue groups that care for and rehabilitate animals injured or made homeless by the floods.
“It is past time for the Government to recognise that community expectations have changed and that the public expects financial support to be provided for the care and rehabilitation of animals harmed during natural disasters.”