Photo caption: Residents displaced by flooding in the Dubbo, Gunnedah, Lachlan, Moree Plains, Narrabri and Walgett LGAs can now access grants of up to $20,000 to repair their flood-affected homes and replace essential household items.
My thoughts are with the Menindee community as it continues to experience major flooding. Flooding may reach record levels early this week, with further rises of up to 10.7 metres possible.
Several properties have already been inundated and many people are isolated and will be for some time with major flooding expected to continue through to mid-January.
I’d like to thank the NSW SES crews and all other emergency service volunteers currently supporting the community during this time.
Flood-affected community members will be able to access face-to-face assistance this week when Service NSW establishes a Recovery Assistance Point at the Menindee Civil Hall (10 Yartla Street). From 10am to 4pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (January 10, 11 and 12), residents can access accommodation advice, mental health and wellbeing services, support for businesses, financial assistance, and insurance and legal support. For more information about what flood assistance is available, visit: www.service.nsw.gov.au/floods
Grants to help flood-affected residents return home
Residents displaced by the worst of the flooding in the Dubbo, Gunnedah, Lachlan, Moree Plains, Narrabri and Walgett Local Government Areas can now apply for further financial support to help get back on their feet. The latest measures include:
- Back Home grants of up to $20,000 to support owner-occupiers, landlords and renters to repair their homes and replace essential household items
- Up to 16 weeks of rental support payments for flood-affected households
- A $59.4 million Central West Caravan and Modular Housing Program which will secure medium-term housing and extend the at-home caravan program, which is already being rolled out
- $8.9 million to undertake targeted residential property assessments.
I know this support will come as a great relief for all those families who face a long road ahead to rebuild and clean up their flood-damaged properties.
For more information or to apply for the Back Home grant or rental support payments, visit: www.service.nsw.gov.au/floods/financial-assistance. Information on disaster assistance is also available at www.disasterassist.gov.au.
Have your say on regional connectivity
The Labor Government is currently seeking feedback on two programs that aim to improve regional telecommunications.
The public has the opportunity to comment on the draft grant guidelines for Round 3 of the Regional Connectivity Program (RCP), which has funded some major projects in the Parkes electorate under the previous two rounds.
Round 3 has up to $150 million of funding available across two streams – a $100 million Regional Connectivity Solutions stream for place-based solutions that deliver new or upgraded broadband services or upgraded mobile services; and a $50 million Mobile Black Spot Solutions stream that delivers New Handheld Coverage to regional, rural and remote Australia.
I encourage individuals, businesses, industry groups and local councils across the Parkes electorate to submit feedback, to ensure the final design and rollout of these stream s can deliver the mobile and broadband solutions that our communities deserve.
For more information and to make a submission on the draft guidelines for Round 3 of the RCP, visit: www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/regional-connectivity-program-round-3-including-mobile-black-spot-opportunities-draft-grant. Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 10 February.
Meanwhile, consultation is also underway on the On Farm Connectivity Program, which aims to improve digital connectivity on farms.
The Parkes electorate is home to some of the most innovative farmers, however adequate telecommunications is essential to ensure they can continue to increase productivity and stay ahead of the game. I encourage local farmers and anyone who works within the agricultural industry to have a say on how this program can best meet their connectivity needs.
For more information and to make a submission on the On Farm Connectivity Program, visit: www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/farm-connectivity-program. Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 3 March.