Nationals Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson is calling for a disaster declaration for the Liverpool Plains as a result of the current flooding event.
Mr Anderson said it was critical the Liverpool Plains be added to the list of Local Government Areas currently declared so funding can be unlocked to assist with recovery.
“These recent floods have been devastating for communities, farmers and businesses right across the New England North West,” Mr Anderson said.
“I’ve been in constant contact with Liverpool Plains Shire Mayor Doug Hawkins and Nationals Member for the Upper Hunter Dave Layzell to monitor the situation in the Liverpool Plains.
“Approximately 40% of the Shire has been heavily impacted by these floods with much of that area is still being impacted by floodwaters. The road network, in particular, has copped a hammering. Road networks right across the plains have been disrupted with some farmers still unable to return to their properties.”
Mr Anderson said the shire has over 800km of gravel roads and he’s been advised that there is significant gravel loss on many of them. A number of causeways have been washed away as a result of fast moving water and some culverts have been badly damaged and will need urgent repair.
“Until the floodwaters completely subside, the full picture of the damage will not be known, but the council will need significant state and federal government support to recover the road network,” Mr Anderson said.
“I am working with Dave Layzell to see what can be done to declare the Liverpool Plains a disaster area so that the accompanying special assistance measures can be made available to those communities and for those farmers who have had devastating crops losses as a result of this flood.
“The Liverpool Plains is one of the leading agricultural producers in the country and the road network plays a big role in supporting and growing that industry.
“The key to the future of the Liverpool Plans economy is building and maintaining its road network to support the growth of the freight industry locally. Simply put, if these roads are not up to standard, B-Doubles cannot travel along them and industry will suffer.”
Mr Anderson said while this season’s crops are already gone for many growers right across the region, he wants to ensure they have the support to get them through this period and also, the road infrastructure to help them bounce back in the future.