NORTH COAST NATIONALS MP'S WORKING TOGETHER FOR FLOOD HELP

North Coast Nationals MPs working together for flood help

14th January 2008

The four Nationals State Members of Parliament, Don Page (Ballina), Steve Cansdell (Clarence), Thomas George (Lismore), Geoff Provest (Tweed) representing flood-affected industries on the North Coast have pledged to work together to seek further Government assistance for their constituencies.

The MPs met with the industry leaders, Rural Lands Protection Boards and Department of Primary Industries in Lismore today to assess the damage and plan for the future.

The meeting agreed for the MP’s and industry representatives to prepare a submission and make representations to the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry seeking an extension of the Execeptional Circumstances (EC) declaration to include this 1 in 50 year flood.

It also resolved to make representations to the State Minister for Primary Industries seeking an immediate rescue package to assist producers and growers to recommence their production which will help to re-establish viable industries.

Steve Cansdell said canefarmers in the region expected to immediately lose about 25 per cent of their crops and income, not to mention the loss of their supplement crop of soya beans.

Thomas George said dairy and beef farmers had lost hundreds of kilometres of fencing and would have difficulty in accessing fodder for their herds.

Don Page expressed concerns regarding the fishing and macadamia industries, as well as industry infrastructure problems.

Geoff Provest said coastal towns had suffered severely because tourists were staying away at the height of the holiday season.

“Under the current strict rules many businesses are not eligible for Government assistance. If Government doesn’t loosen the purse strings the current crisis will become a disaster,” Mr Provest said.

The MPs urged the Federal and State Governments to re-examine support for the natural disaster areas of the North Coast in supporting the region in a time of need.

MP contacts: George 0427 360 781 - Page 0428 285 319 - Cansdell 0438 431 611 - Provest 0438 421 611

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577