Flood-devastated residents in northern NSW are getting a helping hand from the state government, with a $40 million package waiving rates for the next year.
Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole announced on Friday that 2022/23 rates will not be due for residents in the seven Northern Rivers local government areas whose property has been assessed as damaged.
“Northern Rivers residents have been to hell and back, and receiving a rates notice for a home or business they still can barely access is the absolute last thing they need,” Mr Toole said.
“This rates relief is one less thing they need to worry about as they continue to rebuild their lives.”
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the scheme will also include farms and businesses that were flooded.
“This program will cover the residential, commercial and farm rates of eligible ratepayers for one year, helping them as they get back on their feet,” she said.
The government also announced on Friday an investment of $60 million to repair up to 15,000 kilometres of flood-damaged roads, bridges and culverts.
Some roads were still being repaired following the devastating 2019-20 bushfires when the 2022 floods hit.
The federal and state governments have committed more than $3.5 billion in joint funding since the floods claimed the lives of 10 people in northern NSW and far-western Sydney, with the town of Lismore hit the hardest.
An upper house inquiry into the disaster response from late February to early April heard from affected residents in Lismore earlier this week and is in Windsor on Friday.
Australian Associated Press
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