THE PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Murwillumbah today (Monday, April 3), to hear from flood victims and SES rescue volunteers and assess the damage following one of the biggest natural disasters in Tweed history.
Mrs Berejiklian’s first visit was to Tweed Heads followed by Banora Point before she made her way to the Murwillumbah industrial estate (south), where dozens of volunteers and staff are cleaning up millions-of-dollar worth of damages.
Several major trucking companies were bowled-over by floodwaters, with damages expected to run in the many millions and the clean up progressing very slowly.
Emotions were running high during Mrs Berejiklian’s speech including several calls for immediate help “now” to get desperate businesses back on their feet.
“We are setting up a recovery centre in Murwillumbah, where residents can go and communicate their individual circumstance,” she said.
“There’s no point trying to give a blanket coverage when each claim is different and we want to get to everyone and provide the best assistance possible.”
There were some calls for more “concrete” support from more than 50 members of the public highlighting that insurance claims were slow and some have already been “knocked back”.
One business owner spoke to The Weekly and said he’s insurer said “don’t even bother putting in a claim”.
Meanwhile, the second visit for Mrs Berejiklian and Prime Minister Turnbull was to the Murwillumbah SES sheds where the unit took more than 511 calls for help during the flooding period, some in desperate situation.
Mr Turnbull had come up from Lismore where he toured flood affected areas and spoke to business owners, rescue volunteers and home owners.
Mr Turnbull met up with Mrs Berejiklian at Murwillumbah SES sheds, where he heard from the SES Murwillumbah coordinator who gave a brief rundown of the events leading up to the floods.
Local politicians were also present including Mayor Katie Milne, Tweed Shire Councillors, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest, Member for Lismore Thomas George and Federal member for Richmond Justine Elliot.
Mr Turnbull also asked “what Murwillumbah could need in the future to prevent a flood of this nature”.
Cr Pryce Allsop said “levee mitigation for Greenhills was desperately needed” where the floodwater washed away an entire section of road.
The Greenhills road has since been repaired to an extent by Tweed Shire Council.
Mr Turnbull also heard from volunteer rescue staff who took about 511 calls for assistance.
Mayor Milne also said she has setup a Mayor Fund to take donations. More to come on this shortly.
VIDEOS OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND NSW PREMIER VISITS COMING SOON (SEE BELOW)…