The National Retail Association is today calling for a Lismore Flood Recovery Summit involving all levels of government and the business community to solve the ongoing flood disaster issues in the region.
With more than 10,000 people homeless across the northern rivers, essential businesses decimated and key infrastructure falling apart, Chief Executive Dominique Lamb said all levels of government is needed to come together to rebuild from the devastating event.
“There are cross-government issues that urgently need to be addressed, but the town is being left behind as the rest of the country forgets about the families and businesses still struggling,” Ms Lamb said.
“Lismore is in an ongoing state of uncertainty and without adequate resourcing the community is unable to access insurance, tradespeople, accommodation and information regarding disaster preparedness regulations.
“The area is not only reeling from the event itself but is also impeded by the slow rollout of flood grants, the conflict between residents and state agencies and catatonic state of depression and anxiety in the community from not being able to return home.
“Local, state and federal governments need to connect with the business community and work together to get the best possible outcome.
“A community-led response will shift emergency management from a state of reaction to a state of preparedness.”
Last week, Ms Lamb was pleased to attend the reopening of Lismore Shopping Square reopened to the public. Every store in the centre had about 1.8m of floodwater going through it, requiring extensive cleanup and rebuild. It was a pleasure to see the resilience of the local retailers, but more support is needed.