PREMIUM
News

Corowa’s natural disaster declaration

Corowa Rescue Squad members were kept busy delivering sandbags around the town after the four-hour 192mm deluge on January 31.

Corowa’s severe “1 in 2000-year weather event” in late January has resulted in it being declared a Natural Disaster Declaration.

Council was notified of the declaration on May 2 and will continue to engage with affected home and business owners to ensure any assistance, if eligible, can be sought.

The Federation Council Local Government Area, like several others, was severely impacted by severe weather events, dating back to December 2021.

A significant part of the Corowa township area was subjected to 192mm of rain in around four hours on January 31, and this is an event that is greater than a 1 in 2000-year event.

“Naturally this had a devastating impact on many areas in the town. In addition to damaging council assets, around 40 houses received over the floor inundation to their homes,” council’s General Manager Adrian Butler told council’s monthly meeting on Monday.

“This has had a devastating effect on those homeowners/occupiers, and council has worked to support these residents in various ways. This included free of charge disposal of flood damaged items to council’s Corowa Waste Centre, council staff carting over 300 m3 of items to the Waste Centre free of charge, and other support where possible.”

Mr Butler said The Amaranth Foundation also worked tirelessly in many ways to support these residents including assisting for not only emergency accommodation but longer-term options.

“This naturally is a very difficult task in a town like Corowa already experiencing housing shortages,” he said.

Funding assistance is being provided through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding

Arrangements (DRFA) and may include:

•Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged (eligibility criteria

apply).

•Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring

damaged essential public assets.

•Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit

Organisations

•Freight subsidies for primary producers.

A suite of communication activities has commenced to notify the public of this declaration and assistance directly available. This assistance is also anticipated to assist council financially in recovering costs associated with the restoration of public assets and repair road damage.

“Council has engaged with the community to document the flooding impacts and support residents as a result of the storm event,” Mr Butler said.

“This included site visits with Federal Member Sussan Ley and State Member Justin Clancy to affected residents. Council will now follow up with residents to ensure they are aware of the declaration and can seek any eligibility support.”

Federation Council is one of nine Local Government areas eligible for disaster assistance.

Mayor Pat Bourke acknowledged “the hard work of council staff and the assistance of Justin Clancy and Susan Ley offices” (State and Federal Governments).

Cr Aaron Nicholls spoke of the need for council to ensure affected people were notified of how to be assisted accordingly.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, residents are encouraged to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

To apply for a concessional loan, residents are encouraged to contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au.