Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Visit Windsor and spoke to flood-affected residents and volunteers at Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands at South Windsor and the Richmond Club evacuation centre during a flying visit today.
For many they spoke to, it was the third time their homes and properties had been flooded this year.
After the meetings The Prime Minister posted on FaceBook: “The worst of times bring out the best in Australians, and I saw that spirit on display at Helping Hands in Windsor.”
He and the Premier spoke to Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands founder Linda Strickland about how the charity is providing help including food hampers. They were accompanied by State Emergency Minister Steph Cooke, Macquarie MP Susan Templeman and Hawkesbury MP Robyn Preston.
Susan Templeman told the Hills to Hawkesbury Community News:: “This was a first visit to thank some of the many volunteers involved, including the SES, Evacuation Centre volunteers at the Richmond Club and Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands, and meet a few flood affected residents to hear about their early experiences.
“I think it’s important that they listen to the problems people have had and hear how they’re feeling right now.
“As we’ve seen so far, the collaboration between the State and Federal governments is crucial for an effective disaster response and recovery.
“They’ve very quickly agreed to the joint disaster funding arrangements and the Prime Minister has announced the emergency payments.
“But we’ll need a lot of support going forward, for many months to come, as we start the cleanup and recovery.”
At Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands one flood affected resident said no-one was helping flood victims.
He said there was a lack of urgency from all levels of government to come up with long-term solutions to stop the floods happening time after time.
He said there was a lot of speaking but no action.
The Prime Minister has announced flood-affected residents will be eligible for $1000 disaster payments for adults and $400 for children. Those impacted can apply via Services Australia from 2pm tomorrow (Thursday) https://www.servicesaustralia.
On Monday night 23 Local Government Areas were declared a natural disaster zone including Hawkesbury City Council, The Hills Shire, Blacktown City and Hornsby Shire.
‘We know this is having a real impact on people. We want to make sure the supports are available as soon as possible,’ Mr Albanese said.
‘That’s why we’ve been very quick to act in partnership with the NSW government and it is pleasing that we’ve been able to work together so strongly. We know that these circumstances have impacted people there in the area where you are.’
In Windsor, the Hawkesbury River swelled to the highest point since 1978, exceeding the levels reached just a few months ago.
Nearby Richmond has received almost four times the average monthly rainfall in the past week, recording 174mm in the last seven days versus the monthly July average of 44mm.