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Standing with Forbes during the floods

Overnight, the flood that has inundated Forbes peaked at 10.67 metres. It’s the worst flood to hit the town in decades.

Yesterday, I checked in with the SES crews who are doing an incredible job working to protect the town and keep everyone safe.

While there, I was struck by the resilience of the people of Forbes. They’ve been through major floods before, and they know how to prepare. But this flood is unlike those in the past. The water rose much more slowly than it did during previous events, and is expected to take just as long to recede.

Fortunately there have not been any serious injuries or lives lost, but this is not a time for complacency. With more rain expected in the coming days and the possibility that the waters will rise to peak again, there is still a long way to go. The threat to the town and people of Forbes and the surrounding areas will continue for several days. Then the long and difficult task of rebuilding will begin.

We know that a lot of stock and crops have already been lost. It will take some time before we can fully assess the extent of the damage to people’s homes and businesses, and to local roads and other infrastructure.

Although Forbes has borne the brunt of this event, we should not forget the other communities that are affected by flooding at the moment. Ungarie, which was evacuated at the weekend, has now been given the all clear after its fifth flood peak in recent weeks. The waters at Condobolin are not expected to peak until the end of the week, and the Murrumbidgee is yet to peak for communities downstream from Wagga.

The government stands ready to assist these communities through the difficult task of rebuilding from these devastating floods.

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