Flood Recovery Taskforce meets in Lismore

Media release | 27 June 2017

The Lismore Flood Recovery Taskforce met today bringing together government, business and community leaders to review recovery efforts and plan for the future.

NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs, who chairs the taskforce, said recovery efforts will be ongoing to secure the economic future of the city.

“Much has been done but more needs to be done to get Lismore back to its best following the devastating floods of late March,” Ms Hobbs said.

“Heavy rain from ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie saw Lismore record its biggest flood since 1974 breaching the town levee and inundating businesses. Many businesses suffered damaged interiors and equipment, uninsured stock losses, and lost business. Impacts have been traumatic requiring ongoing support.”

Ms Hobbs said the Taskforce brings together organisations to oversee the restoration of Lismore, including Ms Hobbs, Kaylene Hopf (Lismore Business Panel), Deborah Benhayon (Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Thomas George (State Member for Lismore), Kevin Hogan (Federal Member for Page), Cr Isaac Smith (Mayor of Lismore), Alex Smith (Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers), Jane Laverty (NSW Business Chamber Northern Rivers) and Ben Roche (Southern Cross University).

“Efforts to date have included the NSW Government activating disaster assistance for small business operators and primary producers. Category C relief funding has been made available for damaged small businesses and a $1 million business support package for medium sized businesses not eligible for Category C funding.

"The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner, the Government's team of Business Connect advisors and the Rural Assistance Authority have provided support including advice on funding, insurance claims, dispute resolution, and more.

“The Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner has been contacted by around 100 businesses seeking assistance following claim disputes with insurance companies and is preparing a bulk submission to the Commonwealth Financial Ombudsman (FOS) who has a designated team to review the matters as a priority.

“Surveys and research have been done on the recovery process. The Taskforce will continue to work with businesses to restore the economy, attract retail operations, build public amenity, market regional strengths, address recovery issues, and plan against future floods,” Ms Hobbs said.

Business flood assistance information is at: www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

Download the media release

The Lismore Flood Recovery Taskforce with NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs

Download the press ready image