House debates

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Statements by Members

New South Wales: Floods

1:44 pm

Photo of Melissa McIntoshMelissa McIntosh (Lindsay, Liberal Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention) Share this | | Hansard source

I often speak about the resilience of my community of Lindsay. And, gosh, haven't they had to be resilient over the last two years—again, experiencing floods. These are communities that are getting impacted time and time again. Four times now in two years families have had to save their homes, properties and small businesses from floods.

In my region, over 3,000 people were subject to evacuation orders recently. I want to thank the SES and all the local volunteers and community groups that came out and helped those people in our community when they needed it most. The toll and strain have been enormous. Donna from Londonderry, who is a small business owner, told me that the community of Londonderry is on edge and scared about when the next flood might hit.

I want to draw attention to the increase in significant mental health impacts these floods are having on communities. Researchers from the University of Sydney based in Lismore say that floods in northern New South Wales are resulting in a potential epidemic of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. This study has found that the more sites that were impacted the greater the mental health outcomes. So I'm calling on the government, as the shadow minister for mental health and suicide prevention, to consider flood impacted communities for additional support services.