Power Back - Storm Impact Settles

Wednesday, 04 December 2019

Member for Davidson, Jonathan O’Dea has thanked the thousands of people who assisted the community in his electorate of Davidson over the past week following a freak storm last Tuesday, which left most of the area without power for many days.

“Some homes endured an entire week without power, which was very tough. The storm was of almost unprecedented ferocity and unleashed the most damage within the boundaries of my electorate on the north shore and northern beaches. Thankfully, nobody was killed by the storm or in the aftermath,” said Mr O’Dea.

“Hundreds of phone calls and emails came into my electorate office, with many people understandably frustrated by the length of the blackout and difficulties with getting accurate information on when power would be restored.”

“The scale of the damage was extraordinary and I thank all of the emergency service workers, especially from the State Emergency Service (SES), who received more than 2,100 requests for assistance. Local councils and other state based groups also quickly responded,” said Mr O’Dea.

“The NSW Police and Northern District Health both played important roles, especially in proactively communicating with and assisting people with health or disability issues potentially in need of additional help. Surf Lifesaving and Rural Fire Service volunteers were involved in that effort too.”

“Ausgrid staff worked hard on the difficult and very hazardous tasks required to safely put the power back on, with repairs to high and low voltage systems and replacement of many power poles.”

“I communicated personally with many impacted residents and regularly liaised with Ausgrid managers, relevant Ministers, local mayors as well as other relevant people,” said Mr O’Dea.

“The NSW and Commonwealth governments have declared the storm event a Natural Disaster. I am grateful to NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Hon. David Elliott, and Federal Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, Hon. David Littleproud, for this announcement.” said Mr O’Dea.

Funding will be allocated under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). DRFA assistance for storm recovery has been activated in affected local government areas on the north shore and northern beaches.

“While the storm was unwelcome, it was heartening to see the resilience and community spirit of locals. There were many who met neighbours for the first time and showed care and concern for elderly, sick and vulnerable in our community,” said Mr O’Dea.

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at www.disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/

If you are uninsured and have low income, for information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit www.raa.nsw.gov.au