The man in charge of leading Lismore’s flood recovery has warned it will take “months and years” for the northern New South Wales community to bounce back.
Lismore and other towns in northern NSW have been rocked by two devastating floods in a month, twin disasters which Northern NSW Recovery Coordinator Mal Lanyon said dealt a devastating psychological hit to residents and business owners.
“There’s no doubt that last week’s event was a further blow to the psyche,” Mr Lanyon said.
Many business owners had only just cleaned up and begun trading when the second flood swept through the region, he said.
“It is devastating.”
Mr Lanyon said the focus now was increasing the pace of the clean-up so that tradies could get in and start rebuilding homes and damaged infrastructure.
“Realistically, to completely rebuild some of these communities we’re talking months and years.
“The sheer scale and scope of the damage that was occasioned by the first unprecedented flood means that it is going to take a significant period.”
A lack of emergency housing for those who had lost everything was now causing real problems, he said.
“The areas around the Northern Rivers is not blessed with a lot of vacancies.”
Government agencies were working on providing “mid term accommodation” while longer term solutions were being established.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet will travel to Lismore today, where he will announce grants of $20,000 for each flood-affected household in eight local government areas.
Families in Hawkesbury, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed LGAs will be eligible for the financial aid.