Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to declare the ongoing flood crisis a national emergency. Morrison will end COVID-19 isolation today and visit Lismore in the north of the state, where he is expected to make the announcement.
The declaration will allow for more direct delivery of recovery aid and support to affected communities.
Both the state and federal governments have been criticised in recent weeks for a crisis response deemed by some in Queensland and NSW to be ineffective.
Defence personnel are on the ground in both south-east Queensland and northern NSW to help with the recovery efforts.
Brigadier Robert Lording told Today the ADF had issues getting officers to the more isolated locations impacted by floods in recent weeks and there was a need to ensure there were resources available for the number of troops being sent in.
“The roads, the capacity to physically get people into some of these isolated communities, physically it wasn’t possible until Friday and Saturday, just three or four days ago,” Brigadier Lording said.
“It’s an enormous logistics challenge to be able to get that kind of support to people on the ground when they need it.
“I understand, they’re feeling the pain of having gone through what is a very traumatic situation.”
Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons also defended the response by authorities.
“We do have to make sure that we have got the right needs identified and supported from the locals, that we are framing that up and getting the supports, that we have got to have the mechanisms in place,” he told Today.
He said Resilience NSW’s $1.4 billion budget was already at work on flood relief, including grants for small business and primary producers, but that a great deal was also being put into ongoing recovery from last year’s floods.