Crisis centre fears more flood-related trauma

HERE TO HELP: Murwillumbah Community Centre's services coordinator Amanda Lindh with just some of large amount of food donations they have received.
HERE TO HELP: Murwillumbah Community Centre's services coordinator Amanda Lindh with just some of large amount of food donations they have received. SCOTT POWICK

NULLUM House in Murwillumbah is usually the place to go in a crisis, but the recent floods have left the support centre in turmoil, wiping out all of its donated food and clothes.

Murwillumbah Community Services co- ordinator Amanda Lindh said the crisis centre usually provided those in need a place to go to for a hot shower and meal but the building was damaged by flood waters.

"We'd just put the kitchens and the flooring in on Tuesday (before the flood),” Ms Lindh said.

"Luckily the appliances hadn't been installed yet, we'd put them on tables.

"We've also got our community pantry in there and all that stock got wiped out which isn't good when a crisis centre can't be there in times like this.”

But, with the help of the community and local supermarkets, the centre was back on its feet and helping others affected by the flood, she said.

In the first week of the flood recovery, the centre gave more than 200 donated food hampers to flood- affected people but Ms Lindh said there was still much to do.

"Because it was such a scary situation, it's not

just the fact that people have lost everything, there's a

lot of trauma that's going

to come from this event,” she said.

"I think a lot of people are going to need a lot of assistance over the next six to 12 months to assess some of that trauma they've been through.”

The centre provides counselling a few times a week, but Ms Lindh said she wanted to see more long-term government help for those struggling.

"The government needs to step up - not only is the immediate assistance needed but they must look

at the long-term effects

this is going to have,” she said.

"I just don't think they're giving enough consideration to what people are going through and what people have gone through.

"They're looking at crisis responses but I don't think anyone's looking long term and what needs to happen to this community in the long term.”

Ms Lindh said the Government needed to show more support for local businesses, such as the help offered last week with the announcement of Category C grants to eligible small business.

"If we lose three or four businesses, it's going to be a ghost town,” she said.

Topics:  murwillumbah murwillumbah community centre nullum house tweed flood tweed flood 2017

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