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PM Albanese to revisit Central West, wants NSW premier Minns to tag along

September 14, 2023

(L-R): Andrew Gee, Anthony Albanese and Chris Minns. Facebook/ONE artwork.

By Peter Holmes

“I certainly will take up the invitation of the member of Calare to visit the community,” said PM Anthony Albanese on Thursday, adding he would invite NSW premier Chris Minns to join him on a second tour of flood-stricken areas of the Central West.

" At times like this, what we need is for the whole community and different levels of government, federal, state and local, to work together," Albanese said in Question Time.

"I certainly will continue to work closely with the NSW state government to deliver the disaster recovery support that has been committed."

Calare MP Andrew Gee has blasted the insurance industry in recent months over its response to flooding late last year in Eugowra, Cudal, Molong, Canowindra, Manildra and Wellington, which has led to a parliamentary inquiry. He suspects there is some funny business going on regarding which claims are being paid, and which aren't.

He has also said governments needs to be doing a lot more.

"The failure to deliver our region the same level of support that other disaster-hit areas of the state have received is a disgrace and an outrage," Gee chided the PM before asking: "What is your government doing to get this vital assistance moving?"

"And with the anniversary of the disaster fast approaching, will you again visit Eugowra and our region, and invite the New South Wales premier along too?" he added.

In his response Albanese said: “If there’s more that can be done, I’m certainly always up for doing what is necessary for communities that have suffered so much."

Albanese visited Eugowra with former NSW premier Dominic Perrottet last November. Both faced criticism and questioning from devastated locals.

Recalling that visit, the PM said: "The power of water was on display for all to see, where some homes had been lifted up, literally, and taken a kilometre down the road."

Although Gee has been giving him a hard time, the PM said "I pay tribute to his strong advocacy for his local community".


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