A Lismore local has claimed Scott Morrison “snuck in the back door” to avoid protesters at today’s rally.
A Lismore local has claimed Scott Morrison “snuck in the back door” to avoid protesters at today’s rally, as wild weather in NSW continues to wreak havoc on regional towns.
Appearing on Wednesday’s edition of The Project, Kate Stroud said she found herself in a position where she was trapped in the roof of her house and tried desperately to “get outside help to come and collect us”.
“It quickly developed into something which was way more catastrophic,” she said.
“Not knowing how high the water was going to rise, without being able to reach SES or 000. And like myself and many others, we were rescued by civilians who came from Ballina and surrounding areas.”
Ms Stroud, who has spoken out against being “abandoned” by the government as Lismore struggles with surging flood levels, said she was not able to share her story to the Prime Minister.
“We wanted to speak to the PM and talk to him about our experience. We feel completely abandoned. We feel like there’s no help from the people that we have elected. Some of us elected. And we just feel forgotten. We feel like we’ve been swept under the carpet.”
“We were hoping just to talk to him and to see that he could see the distress and the carnage and the trauma that we have all endured here. That hopefully would have a better response than giving us $1,000 that we cannot spend because there‘s no town.”
Ms Stroud said locals tried to track the Prime Minister down for a chat but alleged he arrived at a different time than was reported.
“We decided to try and find him in our neighbourhood and he went at a different time that was not reported,” she continued.
“So then we went up to Lismore City Council, to council chambers to try and address him there and he snuck in the back door and he did not come out to face the Lismore locals. And we were waiting there for over 2.5 hours and we are just so, so disappointed that he could not even face us.”
Mr Morrison defended his decision to ban television cameras from his visits to flood-affected communities in northern NSW.
When asked if he understood the anger that has come from communities under pressure, Mr Morrison replied with sympathy, but did not admit full responsibility.
“It is very common in natural disasters that the frustration and the anger and the sense of abandonment, this happens in almost every natural disaster, because of the scale,” he said.
“I feel deeply and empathise absolutely with how people feel when they find themselves in these situations. As the rain comes pouring down and places are cut off and the inability of get help, to be able to get help, whether they be Defence Force assets or trucks and vehicles and others.
“This is a very complex and very challenging environment in which to operate. But I am in awe of the collective response that has been put in place, so I absolutely understand the frustration. I understand the anger. I understand the disappointment.
“I understand the sense of abandonment. So what do we do about that? We restore. We support. We fund. And as I said, making sure that we can get that emergency financial assistance into people‘s pockets, which was done in a matter of instantaneously, within a week. And we’ll continue to do that.”