Disaster recovery coordinator Euan Ferguson stands outside the disaster recovery centre located at the Murwillumbah Community Centre.
Disaster recovery coordinator Euan Ferguson stands outside the disaster recovery centre located at the Murwillumbah Community Centre. Scott Davis

Flood Recovery Centre set to close

THE Murwillumbah Flood Recovery Centre will close by the end of next week as numbers continue to dwindle.

Almost seven weeks after ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie devastated the region, flood recovery co-ordinator Euan Ferguson said the centre would most likely close from Friday, May 26 as a result of fewer people accessing the service.

"It's important to recognise the recovery centre was always set up as a temporary measure until at some point in time the community and agencies were getting back to business,” Mr Ferguson said.

While more than 4000 people have presented at the Lismore and Murwillumbah recovery centres since they opened, the service at Lismore will close on Friday (May 19) because of low numbers in recent weeks.

"We're only getting one or two attend the centre each day, while at Murwillumbah the numbers are a little bit higher,” Mr Ferguson said.

"We now think the timing is right for Lismore to move to a council information point and we'll look at the figures next week for Murwillumbah.”

Mr Ferguson said the services provided at the centre would still play an important role in the community's recovery.

"We're at an important stage of the recovery, life is not the same and (people are) returning to a new normality,” he said.

"The support agencies that have been represented in the centres will still be available.

"During the next two to four weeks, we'll continue to have disaster case workers visiting people affected by the floods, assisting them with their grant applications.

"It's a transition to a different model. It reflects that the recovery has made some significant steps to get the community back to a more normal business structure.”

Mr Ferguson urged people to still seek assistance if needed, especially counselling.

"NSW Health has established a free service which can be used by those who feel they need to talk to someone,” Mr Ferguson said.

The NSW Health flood assistance line 1300 137 934 and is open during working hours.

Mr Ferguson said he wanted to thank the services who have assisted the centre.

The Murwillumbah Flood Recovery Centre is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.



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