INCOME support from disaster recovery funds could be set to end while a CSIRO study needs to get a "wriggle on" to prepare Lismore for future floods.
It was all on the table today when Senator Murray Watt was in Lismore for the first time since the federal election in his role as Minister for Emergency Management.
He did not commit to ongoing disaster relief payments and said the focus needs to shift towards people returning to work.
"We know it will take some time and we will give further thought into what income support people might need," Mr Watt said.
"Our preference is to get people back into work and that's why we're introducing these guidelines.
"I'm not in a position today to announce new funding, what I am committed to is the next step in getting some of the existing funding out the door.
He also supports a CSIRO study into the floods, but said the contract for the work needs to be signed off on.
"I think we were all a little alarmed during the election campaign when we learned that the contract hadn't been signed by the former government," Senator Watt said.
"It's something I've asked the NRRA (National Recovery And Resilience Agency) to get a wriggle on with.
"I was very critical of how the former government responded to the flood disaster and the the way they failed to prepare for it.
"We want to be better prepared for future disasters and that's why we committed during the election to invest up to $200 million a year as a federal government into disaster mitigation through a new Disaster Ready Fund.
"It would revamp the failed emergency respond fund that the Morrison government had and did absolutely nothing over the last three years."
Mr Watt said the Labor government would release the guidelines for an anchor business package tailored towards bigger employers that would be open by the end of the month.
"It's really about supporting the big cornerstone firms who employ very large numbers of people who are important to the supply chain across industries," Mr Watt said.
"The former government announced support for small and medium-sized businesses and that's really important too.
"I'd encourage those businesses to apply for those grants, but we also need to make sure that we keep the big players in the region.
"It will be focussed on firms who employ at least 200 people in the Northern Rivers which have their main business operations in that region and who are making a commitment to stay in the region.
"What we don't want to see is government and tax payer money going to big firms who decide to pack up and leave, this is about keeping them here so they can employ local people for the long haul."
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