Minister for Local Government and Minister for the North Coast Don Page today welcomed $738,000 in NSW Government funding to cover the cost of beachfront damage at Belongil Beach resulting from severe storms.

Mr Page said a series of storms and resulting big seas caused considerable damage along the State’s North Coast in 2009.

“Byron Shire Council’s beachfront protection works took the full brunt and considerable damage was sustained by these defensive structures,” Mr Page said.

“As well as seawall repairs, the works undertaken at Belongil Beach will repair public access pathways to the beachfront.”

Mr Page said the funding had been approved by the Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce, under natural disaster relief arrangements.

“Byron Shire Council has already received a grant offer of $765,410 to assist with major debris clean-up at Byron, Brunswick Heads, Bangalow, Suffolk Park and Mullumbimby,” Mr Page said.

“In total over $1.5million has been made available to Byron Shire Council to assist in the recovery from the May 2009 storms and floods.

“In the last two financial years, the Department of Finance and Services has overseen more than $21 million in NSW Government payments to cover the costs of emergency works and damage to council-owned assets across the State.

“This is in addition to the substantial financial assistance administered by the Roads and Traffic Authority for damage to council roads and bridges.” 

Under an agreement with the Australian Government, NSW pays for the first $119.7 million of natural disaster infrastructure costs each year. 

The Australian Government matches NSW expenditure for costs between $119.7 million and $209.5 million and beyond that covers three-quarters of all costs.