NSW communities will be better protected from the dangers of floods thanks to almost $1.8 million in joint Commonwealth-State funding for a range of local projects.
The funding is part of the Floodplain Grants Scheme, backed by both the Commonwealth Government and the NSW Office of Emergency Management, to support local councils and other government bodies in their efforts to strengthen flood protection plans across their local communities.
A further $5.1 million is also allocated for the NSW Government Floodplain Management Program that enables government bodies with floodplain risk management responsibilities to undertake priority projects.
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the Commonwealth and NSW governments were working together to better mitigate flood risks.
“Floods can have a devastating impact on local communities by causing major damage to property, infrastructure, and most tragically, through the loss of life,” Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
“That is exactly why we have invested the money for local councils to prepare now should the worst happen later.”
“The best plans are also informed by the best research, which is why a number of the grants have been awarded to conduct studies or progress projects to ensure the mitigation strategies that are in place are as strong and effective as possible.”
NSW Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said NSW was only last week lashed by major storms and flash flooding that left people trapped in flood waters, with damaged properties, and sadly led to loss of life.
“The projects funded from this scheme will make an enormous difference to the safety and security of communities across NSW when a serious storm hits,” Minister Grant said.
“These plans—that include things like flood studies, levees, flood markers, warning systems, and evacuation routes—will offer people a lifeline in the event of an emergency.”
“Improved preparation and risk mitigation also means we can look to ease the burden on our incredible emergency services, especially our dedicated State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers who lend a helping hand when disaster strikes.”
The successful grantees include the following local councils: Bega Valley Shire Council, Carrathool Shire Council, Greater Hume Shire Council, Maitland City Council, Narrabri Shire Council, Narrandera Shire Council, Narromine Shire Council, Port Stephens Council, Tweed Shire Council, Upper Hunter Shire Council, Wagga Wagga City Council and Wollongong City Council.
Further information is available via http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/coasts/Floodgrants.htm