BEREJIKLIAN GOVERNMENT AND NATIONALS CRITICISED IN PARLIAMENT OVER LACK OF RESPONSE TO NORTH COAST FLOODS

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has continued to demand answers in the NSW Parliament over the Liberal National State Government’s continued failure to provide help to flood affected families and businesses on the North Coast – eight weeks after the devastating floods.

During Question Time in the NSW Parliament today, Mr Foley asked if the Deputy Premier would waive payroll tax for flood-affected businesses for the next 12 months to give them a chance to recover.

Labor MPs also wanted to know why there was still no Category C assistance to the struggling smaller villages of Tumbulgum, Stokes Siding and Uki – despite those places being seriously damaged during the March deluge.

It was the third Question Time in the NSW Parliament, where Mr Foley and the Labor Opposition asked questions to the State Liberal-National Government about their failure to properly respond.

The Deputy Premier failed to give him that assurance.

Mr Foley gave a commitment to raise their concerns in State Parliament – which he did. In fact, Mr Foley devoted two days (May 2 and 3) in State Parliament’s Question Time to the plight of North Coast families affected by the floods.

Mr Foley, who visited the region for the second time earlier this month with Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord and Federal MP for Richmond Mrs Justine Elliot, said NSW State Government ministers and the Premier were quick to turn up and make promises with, it now seemed, little intention of taking any urgent action to deliver.

But hundreds of people are still struggling to get their lives and businesses back on track after the floods, without a helping hand from a government awash in billions of dollars in funds from stamp duty from the Sydney property boom.

The Premier has yet to commit any support to Labor’s 11-point bipartisan blueprint to help the flood affected community.

It was also dragging its feet on long term infrastructure repair and assistance to struggling businesses.

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley MP

“I find the Government’s failure to respond urgently to the real plight of thousands of people on the North Coast appalling. If it happened in Sydney they’d respond immediately. Why are they trying to make the North Coast a forgotten area?

“I have asked the Government before and I ask them again to make decisions to help people on the North Coast get back on their feet financially. It is in their power to do it, and they have the money.

“What has the North Coast ever done to deserve this snub? This is a serious situation – and we have a Government that is big on media releases, and bizarrely reluctant to fulfil its responsibilities.”