New South Wales Floods

New South Wales Floods

(Question Time, 18 October 2022, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

I direct my question to the Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, and Minister for Flood Recovery. How can inner-city communities support those that have been impacted recently by the devastating floods?

Ms STEPH COOKE (CootamundraMinister for Emergency Services and Resilience, and Minister for Flood Recovery): I thank the member for Sydney for his question and for joining me recently to visit Thread Together, a non-government organisation in the electorate of Sydney that is doing hugely important work in the flood recovery space. It is not the first time I have encountered that organisation as Minister. Thread Together collects end-of-line, brand new stock from fashion retailers around Australia and distributes it to people in need, including individuals and families who have been affected by the bushfires and the more recent floods. Recently I visited Singleton with the member for Upper Hunter, where we saw firsthand the impact that Thread Together was having on families and people who have been affected in that community. The member for Sydney and I visited the Thread Together headquarters to see the wonderful work it is doing, which was great.

Donations have such an important impact on flood-affected communities, particularly in the Northern Rivers region. I thank people across the State who have donated generously. The New South Wales Government has a partnership with Givit, an online donations hub that works with local community organisations in flooded communities to ensure that the right support finds its way into the right hands. Local community organisations identify the needs of people who have been impacted by the floods or people can request specific items they need, which Givit will try to fulfil. It is a fantastic initiative. Since the February-March flood event, Givit has distributed more than $5.5 million worth of items to families and individuals who very much need it.

People in our cities can also support the flood efforts by joining the SES. We regularly rely on our SES units in Sydney to go on deployment to our regional areas, where they are desperately needed at the moment. They are quite literally sent to every corner of New South Wales. In fact, there has not been a single day this year when SES volunteers have not been deployed somewhere in the State. I thank the volunteers at Erskineville, who form the City of Sydney SES unit. This morning the Premier and I were privileged to catch up with them. Every member of that unit we spoke to had done at least one deployment—if not multiple deployments—in New South Wales this year. I thank the member for Sydney for his question and I thank the people of his electorate who have made donations and contributions to disaster-impacted people right across the State in the past months and years.

Let's work together to celebrate and protect our great city!