Tumbulgum locals came together to shovel thick river mud from their street after the March 2017 floods.
Tumbulgum locals came together to shovel thick river mud from their street after the March 2017 floods. SCOTT POWICK

Flood leaves a mark on the Northern Rivers

RESEARCH has revealed 4per cent of Northern Rivers residents affected by the March 2017 floods are still displaced from their homes, according to the University Centre for Rural Health.

The university surveyed 2500 people across the region directly after the flood as part of the After the Flood survey.

The report also found a fifth of residents were still distressed by flood damage to their properties, with many people facing a higher risk of mental health issues associated with flood trauma.

Project co-ordinator DrVeronica Matthews said almost everyone who did the survey reported being affected by flood damage.

"Our findings show that the mental health risk was higher for people who had a number of places flooded, and the risk increased the longer someone was displaced from their home,” Dr Matthews said.

"We would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the survey and we know it was challenging for some people to think back on their flood experience.”

Meanwhile, as the one-year anniversary approaches, New South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley slammed the State Government for not offering more financial assistance to flood-affected residents in the Northern Rivers.

"Unfortunately, the Berejiklian Government has the wrong priorities,” MrFoley said in parliament this week.

"It can spend billions on Sydney stadiums but it is unable to help those in need of accommodation and support - especially after this major natural disaster.

"The north coast deserves support. The community was worried the Premier would arrive with cameras and big promises, and then nothing would happen and they would be forgotten.

"Almost a year later, we sadly see that this has been the case.”



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