WA public servants flown to help flood recovery on other side of the country

By Melissa Coade

May 20, 2022

Scenes in Lismore, NSW, Tuesday, May 3, 2022.
Scenes in Lismore, NSW, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (AAP Image/Jason O’Brien)

Teams of social workers and recovery experts from WA’s Department of Communities have been deployed to assist in flood-affected regions along the NSW north coast. 

More help will arrive in NSW at the weekend to assist communities in Ballina, Lismore and the Richmond Valley with their flood recovery.

Teams of five department staff will replace a deployment of public servants as part of a schedule of 14-day rotations.

Since May, WA public servants have been helping recovery efforts with social work, welfare and logistics support. 

Community services minister Simone McGurk said the first contingent sent to assist with the interstate recovery efforts arrived in the Kyogle/Richmond Valley. 

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the staff members who put up their hands to assist. Caring for the community is at the heart of what they do and their important work will help those affected to heal,” McGurk said.  

WA is a part of the forum whereby member states can request mutual assistance in times of emergency.

Public servants from WA can volunteer to help their eastern cousins via the Social Recovery Reference Group of the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee‘s Community Outcomes and Recovery Sub-committee.

 Emergency services director Tami Maitre said it was a privilege to be in a position where the department could offer assistance. 

“Even though this emergency unfolded a couple of months ago, there are many small communities in NSW doing it tough,” Maitre said. 

“The relationship between the states is a reciprocal one, and while we are all feeling the impacts of COVID, we will always step in to help if we can.”


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