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Tasmanian floods: Victims disappointed they will miss out on disaster relief funding

By Georgie Burgess and Carla Howarth, Sunday May 27, 2018 - 09:10 EST
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Trish McMillan lives in Glen Dhu Road where there was $2 million in damage. - ABC

Flood victims in Tasmania's Derwent Valley have criticised the Government for locking them out of the Natural Disaster Relief Fund.

The small community of to the area more than two weeks ago.

The State and Federal governments' Natural Disaster Relief Fund is available to anyone with less than $35,000 worth of assets.

Molesworth resident Trish McMillan said it was disappointing.

"In my case, and there's a lot of other residents here as well, who won't get any part of that grant," she said.

"I'm insured but a lot of people may not be and because they work they're not going to get any of this funding."

Ms McMillan's insurance would not cover the damage to her pump shed and driveway.

"My problems are minor compared to others," she said.

"Further up the road they got hit pretty hard, but they're employed as well and have assets over and above so are not getting any of that."

She said many of her neighbours were questioning the means testing.

"What was the use of the politicians coming out and making these big statements? Yet we're not going to get anything," she said.

"Here we thought we had a little glimmer of hope just to fix a few things yet we're not going to get it."

Derwent Valley Councillor Paul Belcher said only a handful of people in the Derwent Valley would be eligible for the funding.

"When it's means tested it goes to show the government of the day is way out of context with the ratepayers and the taxpayers," he said

"There is going to be probably 95 per cent of the people affected who are not going to benefit from any sort of funding from the state or federal buckets of money."

Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans said the community is feeling left out and disheartened.

"I think the Federal Government should be saying it's for all properties that are affected, not just means tested," he said.

"My heart goes out to all these people.

"They're really, really suffering and I think the government needs to really take a good look at itself."

A State Government spokesman said the disaster assistance is specifically targeted at those who "need it the most, such as families or those on lower incomes".

"The disaster assistance available is providing a much-needed helping hand to those affected," he said.

"While this will inevitably mean not everyone is eligible, we urge anyone with questions to contact the Recovery Unit on 1800 567 567.

"The national scheme is not intended as a replacement for insurance cover, and we encourage Tasmanians to ensure their homes and businesses are always insured."

A recovery expo was held in New Norfolk yesterday to help put flood victims in touch with services.


© ABC 2018

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