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Hawkesbury businesses left high and dry as state government denies additional post-flood support
Hawkesbury businesses that lost significant income due to disruption caused by flooding have been left high and dry by the NSW Government, with the area locked out of additional support.
MP Susan Templeman near Windsor bridge during the March 2022 floods…
Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman, says a program providing grants to northern NSW businesses and not-for-profit organisations that suffered significant financial losses following prolonged road closures during this year’s February/March floods has been expanded into additional areas like the Kangaroo Valley, but the Hawkesbury has been left off the list.
“I personally raised the need for this assistance for businesses indirectly affected by the floods with the Premier [Liberal Dominic Perrottet] when he visited South Windsor in July, and provided the NSW Government with a number of case studies of the impact that businesses had experienced,” Ms Templeman said.
“This is joint Commonwealth-State funding and delivered by the NSW Government, providing $10,000 grants to small businesses and not-for-profits that experienced a 40% decline in turnover in March after floods damaged the road network.
“I’ve spoken to many local business owners who have shared turnover figures with me showing that they lost significant income through the indirect impacts of floods. The impact doesn’t occur only when the flood waters are high, but they are affected for weeks or months following the flood.
“For some it’s because customers simply weren’t able to get into the area to spend money, or they run trades businesses and couldn’t access roads to get the job done, and the longer effect is because the entire local economy contracts as a consequence of the flooding.
“We won’t know the full extent of the financial impact on local businesses unless we open assistance up to Hawkesbury businesses to apply. Under the grant, if they can’t demonstrate that they suffered a 40% revenue fall, then they wouldn’t receive help – it’s as simple as that.
“If this program is good enough to be expanded to businesses not directly inundated in areas like Kangaroo Valley, it’s good enough for the Hawkesbury.
“This is not an issue of pitching one flood-impacted community against the other, this is an issue of fairness. Areas impacted by natural disasters should be treated equally, it shouldn’t depend on your postcode.
“I call on the NSW Government to consider extending this assistance to the Hawkesbury, so local businesses that have continued to suffer financially because of the floods are treated the same way as businesses in other areas of the state.”
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