Scott Morrison has announced a $35 million flood-assistance fund that will be made immediately available to households in the eastern Melbourne suburbs of Hawthorn, Canterbury and Camberwell. The funds will be used to build protection against a potential disaster in Josh Frydenberg’s marginal seat of Kooyong.
Announcing the initiative, the PM said it was important to quickly direct funds to the areas where they are needed most. “We’ve done a lot of analysis on this, and it’s very clear to us that areas like Kooyong in Victoria, but also places like Boothby in South Australia and Pearce in Western Australia are at-risk. We need to get on the front foot before it’s too late”.
The PM rejected claims that funds should be used for relief in areas such as northern NSW or south-eastern Queensland. “What’s happening in Lismore right now is heartbreaking, without a doubt. But from the analysis I’ve seen it’s safe – about a 9.5% margin up there in the electorate of Page I’m told”.