CWA of NSW releasing funds to assist flood-ravaged communities
As flood waters continue to plague NSW inland communities, the Country Women’s Association (CWA) of NSW is urging authorities to roll out financial assistance packages as quickly as possible, minimising red tape and delays in getting money where it’s so desperately needed.
The CWA of NSW’s Disaster Relief Fund was established to assist recovery efforts and in recent years has supported a range of relief activities during the drought and bushfires crises, and flood recovery efforts in the early part of 2022. The Association’s Disaster Relief Fund Committee is currently assessing how best to distribute additional flood relief and is also encouraging branches to apply for assistance in the form of vouchers for essential household items that can be distributed in their local community.
State President, Joy Beames said it was heartbreaking to see the devastation being inflicted on communities, particularly those areas that had been inundated multiple times in just a few months.
“In some communities, residents and business people are barely getting to clean up from one flood, when they’re being forced to deal with another within weeks. They are traumatised, exhausted and in desperate need of assistance, some of them after losing everything. They can not afford overly complex application requirements or potential delays in processing claims and we hope some of the lessons learned from the disastrous flooding in the NSW Northern Rivers in March will help expedite the process for these most recent flood survivors,” she said.
Joy said with warnings of an increasing intensity and frequency of natural disasters in future years, it was critical steps be taken now to plan and deal with the outcomes of that.
“That must include implementing disaster grant frameworks that are agile and flexible enough to be rolled out quickly, and simple enough for people who are already distressed, may have little or no access to any resources to help with the process and who may have limited skills and experience when it comes to navigating complex applications,” she said.
“We know there has to be checks and balances around grant allocations, and appreciate the challenges when it comes to their administration but we hope for ongoing efficiencies and reductions in red tape to help roll out relief funds sooner, particularly if demand for these relief efforts are likely to increase in the future.”
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