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Flood assistance



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F O R P R E S S :

PM; No. 10/1971

FLOOD ASSISTANCE

The Prim e M inister, Mr John Gorton, today sent the following telegram to the Prem ier of Victoria, Sir Henry Bolte : -"ON BEHALF OF THE COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT I EXPRESS SYMPATHY WITH THOSE AFFECTED BY THE

FLOODS IN VICTORIA; WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE BUT ARE READY TO JOIN WITH YOUR GOVERNMENT IN THE USUAL WAY IN FINANCING SCHEMES FOR THE RELIEF OF PERSONAL HARDSHIP AND DISTRESS IN THE AFFECTED AREAS. "

Mr Gorton also sent' the following telegram to the P rem ier of New South Wales, Mr Askin, but the text of this telegram is em bargoed until 9 pm (unless released before that time by Mr Askin)

"WILL YOU PLEASE CONVEY DEEPEST SYMPATHY ON MY BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF THE COMMONWEALTH GOVERNMENT TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN SO GRIEVOUSLY AFFLICTED BY THE FLOOD DISASTER. I HAVE ARRANGED FOR TWO SENIOR COMMONWEALTH OFFICERS TO CONFER WITH YOUR OWN OFFICIALS IN SYDNEY ON THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DISASTER AND THE STEPS WHICH WE MIGHT JOINTLY TAICE TO OVERCOME ITS EFFECTS AS FAR AS POSSIBLE. "

The Commonwealth has already agreed to provide $50,000 to the New South Wales Government, on a dollar- for -dollar basis, to a s s is t with personal hardship and d istre ss in the New South Wales floods.

CANBERRA, 8 F ebruary 1971