Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Are We Better Prepared Now? Local Politicians Give Their Views

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Are We Better Prepared Now? Local Politicians Give Their Views

Article excerpt

Byline: Samantha Poate

WHILE we mark the one-year anniversary of the devastating March 31 flood, we asked some of local representatives if they believed the Northern Rivers was now better prepared to manage and respond to such an enormous weather event if it happened again.

Page MP Kevin Hogan said while the Northern Rivers had come a long way, there was still a lot that needed to be done in regards to flood mitigation.

"In my opinion the thing we need to do much more work on, that we are still in the process of, is looking at how we can at least mitigate if not prevent floods in the future," Mr Hogan said.

"We need to do further flood mitigation work, we've given council money to do hydrology reports and look at how we can do that."

Over the past year the Federal and State governments have committed more than $100 million to flood recovery.

"That is money we have given councils to fix public infrastructure but also grants to business and obviously payment to households that went under as well," Mr Hogan said.

He said people were still at different stages of recovery but believed all were better prepared if such an event was to occur again.

"I think there are different horses for different courses there," Mr Hogan said.

"I think certainly individual businesses and people would be better prepared, obviously there is a memory now of that flood and people will do things a lot differently than they did last year."

Lismore MP Thomas George said that even a year later his office was still working with individuals and families waiting to hear final outcomes from their insurance companies.

"That's very disappointing, disappointing for the individuals and organisations that have had to endure that for so long," Mr George said.

Mr George said he knew people who were a lot more skittish when there was a mention of a flood.

"It'll be a different attitude from them and sadly that all comes about from experience," he said.

On the other hand Mr George said he was concerned that those people who were overly cautious last time may not respond the same way. …

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