Flood assistance has run dry

Mark McGrath’s home in the first of two major floods in January/February this year.
Mark McGrath’s home in the first of two major floods in January/February this year.

MARK McGrath can't help but feel ripped off.

Mr McGrath and his family are "camping" inside their Lower Kangaroo Creek home because the lower floor was contaminated during recent flood events.

But the possibility of government assistance appears to have dried up.

The McGraths would like help with groceries destroyed when power was cut and what is expected to be a whopping excess bill from his insurance company, GIO.

Making the McGrath's predicament more frustrating is the areas of Moree, Gwydir and Narrabri have been "activated" for the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP), allowing affected people to apply for a one-off payment of $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

Mr McGrath said there were about 30 households in Lower Kangaroo Creek that were severely affected by recent floods but there was little help available.

"I've been told by the State Government that because I am insured, they can't help me," he said.

Mr McGrath said he had been given the run-around by bureaucrats in all three levels of government.

A spokesman from Member for Page Janelle Saffin's office said the entire local government area had to be "activated" in order to allow people access to the AGDRP.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said the NSW Government's Natural Disaster Declaration which came through late last month entitled the council to access funds for emergency infrastructure repairs.

"I am well aware some people suffered some trauma in that event at Kangaroo Creek and Copmanhurst," he said.

"Once again farmers have borne the brunt of major flooding with another sugar cane crop that may be severely affected and the beef industry suffering major damage to infrastructure."

A spokesman from Ms Saffin's office confirmed the MP had made representations to the Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Robert McLelland, on behalf of Mr McGrath and other people in Lower Kangaroo Creek.

Topics:  flood insurance

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