Various federal agencies are assisting with flood recovery in New South Wales, as the state is dealing with its fourth flooding event in 18 months.
Prime minister Anthony Albanese said he was ‘very pleased’ with the commonwealth working alongside the state government.
“People want governments to work together in the interests of the population, not to engage in politics,” the prime minister said during an interview on ABC News breakfast.
Albanese has announced a $1,000 disaster-recovery payment is available for certain local government areas (LGAs) from 2pm on Thursday July 7 through Services Australia. The agency has suspended mutual obligation and participation requirements in the same LGAs.
Acting minister for government services Amanda Rishworth said Services Australia’s priority during this time is to assist people with accessing the emergency funds.
“These are the toughest of times for people and we want to help communities get back on their feet,” the minister said.
In addition to this, more Defence personnel have been requested on top of the 100 already deployed to Sydney. In total, 250 ADF personnel are available: the current 100, the option of another 100, and 50 to assist in the clean-up.
When asked by a journalist about people experiencing trouble accessing grants, NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said bureaucracy itself can present a barrier in accessing funds.
“My view has always been we should be erring on the side of getting money out the door and auditing later, [rather] than having red tape and bureaucracy getting in the way or providing financial support for those who need it,” Perrottet said.
The premier added he had been told improvements have been made to the system, especially considering the scale of the disaster.
State-side, the NSW government has declared the situation a natural disaster in 23 LGAs: Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Canterbury Bankstown, Campbelltown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kiama, Lithgow, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Penrith, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, The Hills, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, and Wollongong.