House debates

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Questions without Notice

Australia: Floods

2:02 pm

Photo of Susan TemplemanSusan Templeman (Macquarie, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. How is the government supporting communities, small businesses and not-for-profits affected by flooding?

2:03 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

This morning I was in Eugowra with the Premier of New South Wales, Dominic Perrottet; the member for Calare; and the New South Wales member for Orange; as well as being escorted around by the mayor, Kevin Beatty, looking at the devastation which Eugowra has faced. This repeated, relentless flooding that is occurring is just so hard for these communities. Forbes, which I visited with Premier Perrottet a couple of weeks ago, has been hit again.

Today we flew into Parkes and then flew over the communities that had been impacted. In Eugowra's case, 159 people, or one in every three residents, had to be rescued by either a helicopter or a boat. I pay tribute to the emergency services, to the Australian Defence Force personnel who were on ground the very next day, to the SES, but also to the average people from New South Wales who have driven to Eugowra just to help people clean up and get their lives back.

Today, we announced a $50,000 recovery grant, with up to $25,000 to be automatic and the next $25,000 to be on the basis of receipts being produced, for small businesses and not-for-profits in these communities, as well as now extending the $1 million local government recovery grant to 46 councils that have been disaster declared in New South Wales. We met with Brenda Mansbridge and David Herbert, who run the local Eugowra post office—which is not just the post office; it's the bank, it's the full bit. They have got it all up and running within days—an amazing achievement by them.

This community is an inspirational one. It has been able to fight its way back. This government has their back, as does the New South Wales government and as of course does local government. We'll continue to work with state and territory governments, as we have in New South Wales, in Tasmania, in Victoria and now in South Australia, which is also facing a really difficult period going ahead. That's what people expect, that's what they deserve and that's what they'll get from my government.

I'm thankful for the fact that the Acting Prime Minister, Richard Marles, visited the community, as well as the Minister for Emergency Services, Murray Watt, who's done such an extraordinary job since he was appointed to that position. I say to all those who've been impacted by this that the whole of Australia feels for you. We realise that you are doing it really, really tough, and we will stand by you in these difficult times.

Photo of Milton DickMilton Dick (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

On indulgence, the Leader of the Nationals.

2:06 pm

Photo of David LittleproudDavid Littleproud (Maranoa, National Party, Shadow Minister for Agriculture) Share this | | Hansard source

I want to associate not only the Nationals but the coalition with not only the Prime Minister's fine words but also his efforts to get there this morning. The member for Calare and I spoke just before question time, and he appreciated the fact that you engaged openly and honestly, not just with him but with the community. It's important that this parliament continues to work together to make sure that, on this long journey—day by day, step by step—we support those communities that have been impacted. So, thank you, Prime Minister.