Following up after the floods
Thursday, 1 April 2021
Government House Sydney / Port Macquarie
Governor of NSW / Mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council
I have been in touch with Mayors of flood impacted areas of our State in recent weeks to see how they and their communities were managing. Councillor Peta Pinson, Mayor of Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, has given me permission to share an email that I received from her on Tuesday, 30 March, which tells the story so starkly. Port Macquarie was one of the hardest hit areas and the community’s journey to recovery will be long and arduous.
“Thank you for your kind support via your email last week. My apologies for the delay in responding, however given our current circumstances I am sure you will understand.
Our region has been devastated in such a wide and far reaching way with over two thousand properties inundated with flood waters, roads destroyed, bridges wiped out, landslips, livestock and pets lost and the human spirit tested yet again.
The clean up is somewhat overwhelming and we have just recently received the support of the Australian Defence Force to assist our community with this task.
Last week I spent 4 days in the community of North Haven up to my elbows in mud and the remnants of people’s possessions strewn out in piles on the streets. The responsiveness of our community was extraordinary. So many came to assist in any way they could and together we loaded truck after truck with the lives and memories of everyone effected. The line of trucks, utes and trailers seeking entry to dump into our tips reach out for over 1 kilometre. It is estimated that 95% of the Camden Haven population were underinsured or not insured at all and people have lost everything.
The experience has been life changing for me as Mayor and I am so determined to work with my CEO Dr Clare Allen to support our community through one of the toughest of times. Whilst we have been through so much already, we have stood strong and remained resilient. I do recognise that this recent crisis however has been a breaking point for so many and the feelings of despair is everywhere.
Your email demonstrates that we are not alone and the thoughts of other Australians are with us all. I appreciate that on behalf of the people of the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.
We have a long way to go in this recovery, and of course will get there with the support of our State and Federal Governments who themselves have born the responsibility to lead our States and Nation during the past disasters and world pandemic.
My faith is strong that we will overcome this latest crisis but will be a little more battle scarred as a result.
Wishing you good health and thank you again for reaching out to us here and I so look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Bicentenary.”