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Wednesday, 13 March 2013
Page: 1906

Mr OAKESHOTT (Lyne) (13:53): I rise to talk about the extraordinary natural disaster events on the mid-North Coast of New South Wales over the last eight weeks. In the middle of some extraordinary rain we had several days of high winds. That brought down a lot of trees and led to high seas, in turn causing a level of beach erosion not seen before. Many businesses, such as the entire oyster industry of the mid-North Coast, are pretty well decimated. Other industries, such as the macadamia industry, have been highly damaged and the road network is under threat, with lots of road closures. Locations such as Crescent Head, North Shore and Caparra have been isolated as a consequence. These disasters have once again highlighted that, with our governments, state and federal, natural disaster planning is an oxymoron. We are still trying to work through the various categories—A, B, C and D. There are problems of uncoordinated mitigation and very patchy definitional issues around insurance.

I put on record my thanks to the entire community, which has shown resilience through this very wet and difficult period. To all the volunteers and emergency workers: thank you very much for your work. I also take the opportunity to put on record the loss to the communities of Bonny Hills, Lake Cathie and Camden Haven of the life of a young man swept down a drain at Camden Haven Golf Club in the middle of all this. Luke O'Neill, your community does miss you.