Stating the obvious and snag-snobbery after the floods

20th April 2017 5:30 AM
NO THANKS: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Lismore on Monday and did not eat a sausage sandwich. NO THANKS: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Lismore on Monday and did not eat a sausage sandwich. Contributed

POLITICIANS swooped in to offer their sympathy and support for the people of Lismore and other flood-affected areas in the days and weeks after the March 31 floods.  

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten were among the seven state and federal pollies that visited the region in the past two weeks.   

Some came equipped with a plan and dollars to kick-start ravaged communities toward recovery while others came to listen and offer words of comfort and reassurance.  

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Days after the flood struck, the PM was on the ground in Lismore to offer a helping hand, on Monday, April 3. 

But many didn't see it that way as the nation's leader walked down the city's sodden streets offering nothing to residents but low-interest loans and a bit of elbow grease to one mud-soaked cafe.  

Rejecting a sausage from the Country Women's Association in the CBD added further injury to Mr Turnbull's anticlimactic visit.   

Days later, the Federal Government announced further assistance and grants through the Disaster Recovery Program.  

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Labor leader, Bill Shorten

THE opposition leader justified his visit two weeks after the devastating natural disaster by reassuring affected residents that they aren't forgotten.

"(Labor) get that recovery isn't done in 24 hours or a week," Mr Shorten said.

He said Labor was committed to upholding the expectations of ravaged communities by standing up for residents "not just on the day it happens but the weeks and months ahead".

Mr Shorten called for all levels of government "to work together and facilitate people getting back on their feet".

Premier Gladys Berejiklian

ALIGNING her visit with the Prime Minister's, Premier Gladys Berejiklian came with substance packed within her words by appointing a recovery coordinator for the region.

Euan Ferguson's appointment was announced on Monday, April 3 at the SES Richmond Tweed Region headquarters in Goonellabah during her visit to Lismore.

Mr Ferguson key role is to bridge the needs of flood-affected towns with local and state government resources.

 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to business owners at South Murwillumbah who have been hard hit by the floods. (April 3, 2017)
Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to business owners at South Murwillumbah who have been hard hit by the floods. (April 3, 2017) Scott Powick

Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant

In a joint visit with the Premier, Mr Grant came armed only with words of gratitude to the SES and all emergency services to the disaster. 

Among his other words was a commitment to strengthening SES resources and headquarters in Ballina and around the Northern Rivers.

NSW Governor, his Excellency David Hurley visited Lismore on Monday April 10. L-R Thomas George, LCC general manager Gary Murphy, Andrew McPhee NSW Fire & Rescue, LCCI Deb Benhayon, David Hurley, Euan Ferguson and Sup. Greg Martin
NSW Governor, his Excellency David Hurley visited Lismore on Monday April 10. L-R Thomas George, LCC general manager Gary Murphy, Andrew McPhee NSW Fire & Rescue, LCCI Deb Benhayon, David Hurley, Euan Ferguson and Sup. Greg Martin Alison Paterson

Governor General NSW, David Hurley

"IT'S a very scary time for many people and part of my job is offer comfort and support."

That in a nutshell encapsulates the extent of his Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor of NSW and his wife's visit to the region on Monday, April 10.

 

State Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro with recovery coordinator, Euan Ferguson (left) and Lismore MP Thomas George.
State Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro with recovery coordinator, Euan Ferguson (left) and Lismore MP Thomas George. Claudia Jambor

Minister for Regional NSW and small business, John Barilaro

The Minister finally visited the region last week - but sensibly came armed with a million-dollar "activation fund" and to reiterate the message that the Northern Rivers is open for business.

PROTEST SAVIOUR: State Opposition Leader Luke Foley with Knitting Nannas Against Gas (on left) and fellow Labor MPs pledging to tear down the Baird Government's anti-protest laws.
PROTEST SAVIOUR: State Opposition Leader Luke Foley with Knitting Nannas Against Gas (on left) and fellow Labor MPs pledging to tear down the Baird Government's anti-protest laws. Hamish Broome

NSW Opposition leader, Luke Foley

Has been MIA but his Mr Foley's office told The Northern Star he was planning to visit Lismore today accompanied by the Shadow Minister for the North Coast, Walt Secord.