The 2022 Victorian Election campaign continues; Australian COVID surge expected to peak in December; Industrial Labor Relations Bill Criticized; New South Wales floods continue

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet answered only a few questions after their announcement and both reiterated their support for the rebuilding of communities in the mid-west of the New South Wales after the floods.

Albanese said New South Wales should rebuild “appropriately” in flood-prone areas and said the government would “continue to engage” with the insurance industry after residents told chiefs of tour that one of their biggest challenges was their inability to insure their properties against flooding.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks at Eugowra.Credit:New

Here are some of the relevant exchanges, edited for length and clarity:

Journalist: “When you announced a buyout program in other parts of NSW you said we shouldn’t rebuild on floodplains, but here today you say this community will rebuild. Which is it? Should we build or not?

Albanian: “No, we should build appropriately … in Lismore, the Prime Minister and I have partnered to support some takeovers in communities that have been hit regularly and systematically. What we need to do is make sure we plan correctly, there is no inconsistency here.

Journalist: “A lot of people can’t rebuild because they don’t have insurance coverage. How do you handle this?

Albanian: “Look, this is a challenge; the issue of insurance, and I know that Murray Watt, our Minister of Emergency Services, talks to the insurance companies about these issues. It is a permanent challenge that we must face. One of the things we heard again today is that so many people have been unable to get insurance because of the high premiums that are out there. This is something the government is trying to fix over a period of time. We will continue to engage with the insurance industry.

Perrottet also said, “Communities like Eugowra are just as at risk of flooding as many others across the state. As the Prime Minister said, in Lismore, in places like this, we have embarked on a buyback program, but we have tailored our responses to those circumstances.

“But where there is high risk, we shouldn’t develop in floodplains where there is high risk, but it has to be done in a balanced way.”

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