SYDNEY, AAP – NSW residents whose homes have been damaged or destroyed in the devastating floods will be able to call on support totalling more than half a billion dollars as the clean-up continues.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said a $551 million housing support package will benefit some 25,000 households.
The federal government will provide half the funding.
The package will provide 16 weeks’ rent support, ranging from $6000 to more than $18,000 per household.
Of the 9200 homes assessed so far, 5500 are damaged and 2834 are uninhabitable, Mr Perrottet said.
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The cost of the catastrophic floods continues to rise with NSW claims totalling $663 million – an 18 per cent rise in the last 24 hours, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.
In the latest mobilisation of volunteers, starting from Friday Lismore residents in need of medical help will be able to call on the services of Street Side Medics – the brainchild of 2022 Young Australian of the Year Dr Daniel Nour.
“As the result of a natural disaster, you have thousands of Australians who have inevitably become homeless and the difficulty is that medical centres are flooded,” he told AAP before heading north from Sydney.
A fully equipped mobile health van will act as a temporary hub for local doctors.
“I know of a lady in Lismore, who has been unable to go and see her GP for her blood thinner medication for two or three days and she then had a stroke,” Dr Nour said.
“So just giving people the ability to access their doctor is critical.”
Heavy rain has eased across the state’s east coast as the low moves out to sea. Thunderstorms are possible over western NSW on the weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned.
River levels at North Richmond and Windsor are expected to remain above major levels for the remainder of the week, meaning locals will be unable to return home to start the clean-up until at least the weekend.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is due in Lismore on Friday after visiting flood-ravaged communities around Ballina.