26 September 2023

Taskforce up and mobilised for flood recovery

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A multi-agency task force with more than 500 personnel, helicopters and equipment has been deployed to drive the flood clean-up across Greater Sydney and the Illawarra.

Announced by Premier Dominic Perrottet, the task force consists of personnel from the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS), Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Public Works Advisory (PWA) and the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

“Our emergency service personnel and volunteers are doing an outstanding job dealing with the flooding, but it is also vital we get boots on the ground to begin the recovery process,” Mr Perrottet said.

Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke said that while the emergency response continued in some parts of NSW, some communities like Camden, Penrith and southern Sydney were beginning the clean-up process.

“The first step of the flood clean-up involves SES personnel undertaking rapid damage assessments of flood-affected homes and businesses so that properties can be deemed safe,” Ms Cooke said.

“This information is then used to help inform decisions about further support measures from the NSW and Commonwealth Governments,” she said.

“Our teams will also assist with clearing bulk debris, washing out homes and businesses, and making sure roads are accessible so that it’s safe for people to return.”

Ms Cooke said some of the affected communities had been flooded four times in the past 18 months, “which is why it’s so important we get the clean-up underway and completed as quickly as possible.”

Minister for Environment, James Griffin said the waste levy in flood-affected areas had been waived to help communities dispose of flood-damaged items.

Mr Griffin said residents in the 23 natural disaster declared local government areas would be able to take flood-generated waste to the tip for free.

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