More flood victims in northern NSW will be able to access extra financial support, with relief measures extended to four additional local council areas.
Residents impacted by the disaster in the Ballina, Byron, Kyogle and Tweed local government areas will be able to access two more weekly disaster payments.
The payments will be $1000 per adult and $400 per child and will be available from March 22.
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The support comes a week after additional support payments were given to residents in the Lismore, Clarence Valley and Richmond Valley council areas.
However, there was criticism from residents and local MPs that areas further north that were affected by the floods were not included in the original expansion of payments.
The inclusion of support to the four new local councils comes after assessments were made of the flood areas by the National Recovery and Resilience Agency and Emergency Management Australia.
Emergency Management Minster Bridget McKenzie said support was being rolled out quickly as possible.
“While people in northern NSW aren’t able to work, are still clearing out their homes and businesses, the extra two $1000 payments we’re rolling out to eligible families and individuals will support our communities as they start to rebuild their lives,” she said.
Government Services Minister Linda Reynolds said the payments would help provide additional relief to those who had been impacted by the natural disaster.
“The catastrophic scale and impact of what we’re seeing in this region of northern NSW is exactly why this extra support is needed,” she said.
So far, more than $862 million in disaster recovery payments have been made to more than one million people in NSW and Queensland.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier on Thursday denied flood support measures were being delayed until he returned from a trip to Perth.
“When you’re talking about the investments of hundreds of millions of dollars – and indeed billions now – then people would expect this to go through the proper assessment of the proposals which we did yesterday,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Perth.
Earlier on Thursday, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston announced the government would provide an additional $9 million to 83 emergency and food relief services supporting flood victims in northern NSW and Queensland.
The funding will help local services provide food, grocery vouchers, clothes, household items and petrol for people who have been impacted by the floods.
© AAP 2022