Hawkesbury flood victims are asking why they are being treated as second-class Aussies. Why aren't they entitled to the same emergency payments that, rightly, are being extended to other flood victims? Why aren't the victims of landslides in the Blue Mountains treated the same as those elsewhere in the state? Unfortunately, natural disaster victims in my electorate, whether they're businesses or individuals, get treated differently, missing out on extra payments. For instance, the $10,000 grants for small businesses that have suffered a 40 per cent downturn in their income as a result of flood are not available in the Hawkesbury. And, because of the nature of businesses and primary production in the region, people just miss out on being eligible even when they've suffered a direct hit, like Megan from Tiny River Houses; Ray from Jubilee Vineyard Estate; and cattle breeder Peter, from Cumberland Reach.
I want the Prime Minister and his ministers to imagine that they live in a flood- and bushfire-prone region, whether it's Freemans Reach or Pitt Town, Wisemans Ferry or Sackville, or Bell or Blackheath. For the last decade there's been no investment in resilience in any of these areas by this government—not a cent—and nothing in this budget changes a thing. How would that make you feel? I'll tell you: you'd feel ignored, abandoned and scared. It's wrong and it's unfair, but it's what we've come to expect from this tired Morrison government