darren.chester.mp@aph.gov.au 1300 131 785
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October 15, 2012

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has echoed calls to urgently approve flood assistance for residents in East Gippsland, Wellington, Latrobe and South Gippsland.

Properties across Gippsland were hit by floods in June this year with local residents reporting significant property damage.

Despite the State Government making repeated submissions requesting joint National Disaster Relief Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) Category C funding, the Federal Government hasn’t provided a response.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan told State Parliament last week that delays and a lack of action was causing significant uncertainty for affected communities at a difficult and stressful time.

Mr Chester is supporting Mr Ryan’s calls for an end to the uncertainty and has called on the Attorney-General to urgently approve the funding.

He wrote to Attorney-General Nicola Roxon in July seeking her approval of the Category C grants and raised the issue with her again several times in September  – but is yet to receive an official response.

“The floods caused significant damage throughout Gippsland and the clean up work has been significant for many property owners,” Mr Chester said.

“The work is costly and time consuming, with many property owners needing financial assistance. I have had reports where some property owners have been unable to carry out recovery works due to financial constraints.

“It’s time for the Federal Government to end the uncertainty and support property owners with the costs of recovery work so that they can be fully operational again.”

NDRRA assistance is jointly funded between State and Commonwealth Governments to provide help to communities following severe disaster events.

Eligible primary producers and businesses can receive Category C grants of up to $25,000.

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