Council: This is a natural disaster

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Penrith City Mayor Greg Davies held talks with the premier and local members in the immediate aftermath of last Thursday’s flash flood storms to ascertain how the three levels of government could best help those affected.


“Parts of our City were hit by an extreme weather event last Thursday evening. The hardest hit suburbs included Londonderry, Castlereagh, Cranebrook, Jamisontown and Kingswood and a number of residents suffered property damage and loss as a result of the severe storm,” Councillor Davies said.


“Throughout the evening and in the following days I received continuous updates on what was happening and the great work that our local SES and emergency services were doing in assisting the community. On Friday I spoke with the Premier and our local State and Federal members to ascertain how we could best assist those affected.


“Formal representations are now underway to the State Government to declare the event a natural disaster and thereby trigger financial assistance to those requiring it through the State and Federal Governments’ Natural Disaster Relief Funds.


“Some residents are also concerned about their eligibility for insurance cover from some companies and this is something I will also take up with our local members.


“In the meantime, there are a number of things Council is doing to help ease the pain for those affected in our community.”


These measures include:


·        Emergency crews, who worked on the weekend to clean up and assist in the community, will continue throughout the week.


·        Special waste collections for debris, fencing and other items were organised for the weekend and will also continue this week.


·        Replacement household waste bins are being organised.


·        Compassionate payment options for rates payment are available. Residents should contact Council’s rates section on 4732 7676 to make a mutually agreeable arrangement.


·        A letter of support from the Mayor to insurance companies if required.


·        Investigating the organisation of a fundraising appeal to assist those most affected.


The response to the flooding was managed by the State Emergency Service as the primary response agency under the State Government’s emergency management arrangements.


The local emergency relief effort involved 220 SES, 20 NSW Police, four Ambulance and 20 RFS volunteers/staff.


“Clearly the severity of the event and the consequences require a detailed investigation and I have requested the General Manager to report back to Council on this at the earliest opportunity,” Councillor Davies said.


“We will continue to work with our local communities in the cleanup of this event and I thank everyone involved for their assistance to date.


“As this inclement weather continues I would ask anyone who requires help to contact our State Emergency Services on 132500.”


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