Richmond Valley Council – Floods 2022 Inquiry Submission
Rebuilding the Richmond Valley 2022-25 Recovery Plan
Richmond Valley Flood 2022 Response
Richmond Valley Council has responded to the recent flooding crisis with a detailed report outlining the extent of the recovery challenge and its plans to rebuild its infrastructure, economy, and community.
The Richmond Valley Flood 2022 Response, which was handed to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday, outlines the measures Council is taking in immediate response, and breaks down the estimated $150 million cost to repair critical infrastructure throughout the Richmond Valley, as well as the cost to local homes, businesses, the natural environment and the wellbeing of our communities.
It also looks to the future with plans to restart our regional economy and build back better, so our community is more resilient to future natural disasters.
The study found that Richmond Valley’s economy could expect to experience a significant loss of production over the next two years – estimated at $250 million. The biggest impacts are forecast to be in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
The unprecedented flood levels of the past month had damaged homes, businesses, and public infrastructure across the Richmond Valley and the report called on authorities and the government to assist in the recovery. Council has played a strong role in the initial disaster response, but rebuilding will take a supreme effort and support from all levels of government.
The report details the response needed across infrastructure such as roads, waste, water and sewer and property damage. It outlines Council’s strategy for economic and social recovery with plans for housing, business, industry, the environment and future-proofing our area from natural disasters.
Council and the community acknowledge the tremendous support from emergency response agencies, NSW Police, the Australian Defence Force, Council staff and the many community volunteers who stepped up to help in one of the most challenging times for the Richmond Valley and Northern Rivers region.
The report can be found here: https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Rebuilding-Richmond-Valley-Revitalisation-Plan-s.pdf
One-stop shop for flood recovery – Service NSW
It is essential for those affected by flooding or flood damage to register with Service NSW. Phone 13 77 88 to register to access all services or visit www.service.nsw.gov.au
The Disaster Relief Grant restores a basic standard of living. You may be eligible for support if a natural disaster damaged your primary residence, you are without insurance, a low-income earner with limited financial resources and the claim is within four months of the event.
Start the claim by visiting a Recovery Centre with proof of income, bank statements and other financial information, or by contacting Service NSW on 13 77 88.
The Australian Government has both the Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance for those affected by the storms and floods.
The Recovery Payment is a non-means-tested payment of $3000 for adults and $1200 for each affected child, and you have been seriously injured, or lost or had your home damaged.
The Recovery Allowance provides short-term income support payment from the Australian Government to assist individuals whose income has been affected due to the storms and floods for up to 13 weeks.
For more information on these payments, visit a Recovery Centre, visit the Services Australia Website at www.servicesaustralia.gov.au, or contact 180 22 66. The Services Australia website also contains information about further assistance payments and support.
Housing support is available through Service NSW. The Temporary Housing Support Package is available for medium-term accommodation, and the Rental Support Scheme is for those whose homes are uninhabitable. Visit a Recovery Centre or contact Service NSW for these schemes.
For those requiring urgent accommodation, please contact Link2home on 1800 152 152. This line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Flood-affected businesses can now find quick access to support information through a dedicated web portal on the Australian Government’s Business website https://business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/assistance-for-businesses-affected-by-floods Below is an example of support available to small business, primary producers and not-for-profit organisations:
- Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 for businesses which have suffered direct damage
- Primary producer recovery grants up to $75,000 for producers who have suffered direct damage
- Small business and primary producers concessional loans of up to $130,000
- Concessional interest rate loans for not-for-profits
- Freight subsidies of up to 50 per cent for primary producers
The Agricultural and Animal Services Hotline is available for all animal and livestock enquiries. This includes animal assessment and veterinary assistance, stock euthanasia, removal and burial, emergency fodder and water, and livestock management advice. Contact them by phoning 1800 814 647.
The Disaster Response Legal Service is available for help with legal problems, including insurance claims and disputes, financial hardship, tenancy, and Centrelink issues. They can be contacted during business hours by phoning 1800 801 529, or visiting www.disasterhelp.legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
The NSW Mental Health Line offers professional help, advice, and referrals to local mental health services. They can be contacted any day at any time by phoning 1800 011 511.
Healthy North Coast GP Telehealth is available to North Coast residents who can’t get an appointment with their regular GP because of a disaster. Free telehealth appointments with a GP can be booked any time of the day or night, seven days a week, by phoning 1800 931 158.
Flood Recovery Fact Sheets
Please visit the Richmond Valley Disaster Dashboard for all up-to-date emergency information, including road closure, weather warnings, river heights and other emergency information for floods, fires and other events.