“Catastrophic” flooding in northern NSW and southeastern Queensland’s northern NSW will be declared a national emergency as the federal government adopts a major new aid package to help those affected. In the past nine days, the federal government has paid out $385 million to more than 330,000 flood victims in northern NSW and south-east Queensland. Residents of flood-hit areas in northern NSW will be able to get more financial support as Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to declare the disaster a national emergency. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he intends to recommend to Governor-General David Hurley that the flooding in NSW and Queensland be declared a national emergency.
Scott Morrison is expected to declare a “national emergency” for flooding as it makes landfall in heavily damaged Lismore on Wednesday afternoon and will detail new funding for disaster-hit areas up and down the east coast. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Scott Morrison could expect a cold reception in hard-hit Lismore, saying if Morrison was received on the flood-ravaged NSW north coast, Deputy Prime Minister The Prime Minister will be “very surprised”. Wales. Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said he expected a hostile reception from the government in the weeks leading up to the federal election campaign.
Emergency and Shadow Disasters Minister Murray Watt has asked Prime Minister Scott Morrison to declare a national flood disaster in New South Wales. Mr Morrison and his Emergency Minister Bridget McKenzie are making the final decision on declaring a national emergency and are expected to announce it Wednesday afternoon. State and territory premiers must request a national emergency, but Morrison can take this step when federal government interests are affected or when waiting for a request is not considered practical. The reporting authority, established in the aftermath of the 2019–20 bushfires, gives the Prime Minister the ability to deploy Australian Defense Force personnel and use other Commonwealth resources without waiting for a formal request from the state government.
The Royal Commission on Wildfires recommended a national emergency after finding that the federal government needed “more action and as soon as possible to protect life and property going forward.” The reporting authority was put in place in December 2020 in response to recommendations from a royal commission regarding black summer wildfires. The statement was one of the recommendations for how governments can respond to natural disasters following the summer wildfires. The Royal Commission proposed to announce that this “should be a catalyst for a more consistent, proactive and rapid mobilization of Australian Government resources”.
He suggested that it would be preferable to declare a national emergency at the start of a natural disaster, alerting the public to the severity of the incident and alerting government agencies and defense forces. Perrotte said on Tuesday that the advice he was given was that an emergency statement was not needed but was being discussed “on a daily basis”. On Tuesday, New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrotte said he did not consider it necessary to declare a state of emergency, but the matter remained under day-to-day control.
The federal government had the power to intervene earlier today, with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud saying NSW should have sought help sooner. Earlier, Senator Watt backed the national emergency declaration, saying the NSW government had been overwhelmed by natural disasters. Senior federal sources pointed out that a state of emergency has not been declared in NSW. NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York yesterday agreed there was no need to declare a state of emergency at this stage.
Earlier Wednesday, New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister Paul Toole said the government needed to deploy more Australian Defense Force troops to the far northern states. The latest figures show that 4,370 ADF troops are deployed to help with flood control in New South Wales and Queensland, with about 500 more troops expected to arrive by the end of Thursday. There are 1,800 ADF personnel onshore in Northern New South Wales helping with flood relief, and that number will rise to 2,500 by the end of the day.
The federal government also announced another tranche of financial support for flood-affected communities, including $25 million in emergency relief and $10 million in mental health support for school-age children in the North Rivers Americas region of New South Wales. Scott Morrison will reportedly announce new flood funding, which could include participation in the Emergency Response Fund, according to the Australian Financial Review. Scott Morrison will declare a “national emergency” today in response to flooding in New South Wales, Guardian Australia knows. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to declare the New South Wales floods a “national emergency” when he visits the northeast US disaster area on the first day of his COVID-19 lockdown.
In recent weeks, both the state and federal governments have come under fire for an anti-crisis response that some in Queensland and New South Wales have seen as ineffective. Public Services Minister Linda Reynolds said the federal government “acted quickly” to provide urgent assistance to those affected by what she called the biggest disaster in recent Australian history. Murray Watt, an opposition emergency management spokesman, said residents of northern New South Wales felt abandoned. Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said Resilience NSW’s $1.4 billion budget is already earmarked for flood control, including subsidies for small businesses and primary growers, but a significant amount of money has also gone into the ongoing recovery from last year’s floods.