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FLOOD-PRONE COMMUNITIES NEED MORE SUSTAINABLE APPROACHES TO DISASTER RESPONSE AND PREPAREDNESS

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Climate change means that communities across NSW will continue to face floods and storms with increased intensity and frequency into the future.

We can’t take a business-as-usual approach to flood prevention and response.

In just the first few months of 2024, the Illawarra, Nepean and Hawkesbury regions have been impacted by flooding.

We have heard loud and clear from impacted communities that recovery support is fragmented, short-sighted, under-funded and difficult to navigate.

We only need to look to the Northern Rivers, where years on from the devastating 2022 floods, residents are still living in damaged homes or temporary housing because of unsustained government support.

As the threat of the next flood looms, it’s never been more urgent for the NSW government to take climate change seriously by fully and sustainably funding disaster recovery and resilience programs, as well as caring for and support workers and volunteers on the front lines.

Residents in disaster-impacted communities are bearing the cost of disasters four-fold: clean-up and rebuilding, huge insurance premiums, contributing to the emergency services levy through council rates, and serving as emergency services volunteers themselves, often sacrificing income to do so. This financial model is inequitable, unsustainable and unfairly penalises those most in need of support.

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