Volunteers work more than 180,000 hours on Western NSW flood response

Issued: 13 October 2016

Emergency service volunteers have worked more than 180,000 hours to assist in the response to the western NSW floods, providing more than $10 million worth of outstanding community service.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott today paid tribute to all emergency service workers deployed across the region, including 450 NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) volunteers.

Following flooding caused by the third wettest winter and wettest September on record, emergency services have responded to more than 4,200 requests and performed 130 flood rescues since August 30.

Natural Disaster Declarations have now been made in 28 Local Government Areas, activating financial assistance for affected communities and emergency resources are focused in communities surrounding the Lachlan, Murray, Murrumbidgee, and Macquarie rivers.

The prolonged flooding has led to crop and infrastructure damage, disruptions along major transport routes including the Newell Highway and Lachlan Valley Way, and significant isolation of rural properties and communities along the Murray, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and Macquarie River valleys.

"I saw the sheer scale of damage caused by floods in Forbes in recent weeks and the amazing work of our volunteers there. They all deserve our utmost admiration for volunteering to assist communities in times of extreme hardship and sacrificing time with their families or at their jobs," Mr Grant said.

"The recovery and rebuilding process would not be possible without the tireless work of our emergency services volunteers, and they deserve the entire state's gratitude."

Former Police Deputy Commissioner Dave Owens has been appointed the Regional Recovery Coordinator to coordinate the recovery process.

"It has been a very busy winter and spring for emergency service workers and we thank them for continuing to selflessly putting the needs of their community ahead of their own," Mr Elliott said. "This has been a prolonged flood and I want to assure communities that we will continue to support your recovery - no matter how long it takes."