Opposition leader fights for better flood support

16th May 2017 4:54 PM
Justine Elliot (Member for Richmond), Anni Brownjohn (The Right Food Group), NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley Walt Secord (Minister for North Coast) displaying product from The Right Food Group. Richmond MP Justine Elliot, The Right Food Group owner Anni Brownjohn, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley and Shadow Minister for North Coast Walt Secord, company display some of their product. Scott Davis

NEW South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley has beefed up his support for flood affected businesses in the Tweed.

Visiting Murwillumbah today, Mr Foley met with Richmond MP Justine Elliot, NSW shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord and Murwillumbah-based business owner Anni Brownjohn to discuss his flood recovery plans.

Mr Foley said he would continue to challenge the State Government's decision to not financially support the Tweed and offer more assistance to those affected by the flood, including businesses.

"I'm very worried about the future of the Murwillumbah business community,” Mr Foley said.

Walt Secord (Minister for North Coast) Justine Elliot (Member for Richmond) NSW Opposition leader Luke Foley and Anni Brownjohn from The Right Food Group company display some of their product.
Shadow Minister for North Coast Walt Secord, Richmond MP Justine Elliot, NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley and Anni Brownjohn from The Right Food Group company display some of their product. Scott Davis

"I've asked the Premier to consider payroll tax relief for local business who are liable for payroll tax.

"I think there's a precedent there after the landslip in Thredbo closer to 20 years ago.

"It's something I'm going to keep campaigning on in the parliament, urging the premier. You see record revenues in the coffers from stamp duty in Sydney from the surging property market in Sydney.

"It would be the tiniest fraction of that revenue forgone but that would be a lifeline for the business community in Murwillumbah that would allow them to get them back on their feet and employ people.”

Having spent two days in Parliament discussing the impact the floods have had on the Tweed, Mr Foley said it was important for the government to show support for the region.

"We've already got high unemployment here in the far north of the state and if the industrial estates in Murwillumbah close up or reduce staff significantly that could be quite devastating for the local community,” he said.

Mrs Elliot said the community was grateful for the amount of time and effort Mr Foley has given.

Justine Elliot (Member for Richmond)  signs the wall at The Right Food Group company.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot signs the wall at The Right Food Group company. Scott Davis

Following the push from Mr Foley to get more government support, Councillor Reece Byrnes will be asking the Tweed Shire Council on Thursday to write to NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklian about introducing a payroll tax waiver for flood affected businesses.