Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke will be appointed as the new Minister for Flood Recovery.
Ms Cooke will drive the recovery efforts, including clean-up, rebuilding and support programs, while ensuring the recovery process is coordinated, well-funded and enacted swiftly.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said Minister Cooke’s expanded portfolio responsibility will empower her to deliver for the flood affected communities.
“These floods have had a devastating impact on communities the recovery process will take time and will require the full backing of the Government,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We have seen that the scale of these floods have been enormous, not just on buildings and infrastructure, but on lives. As the recovery begins, we need to co-ordinate the full resources of government to ensure our efforts ensure we come through this together.”
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said Minister Cooke will work closely with her ministerial colleagues to coordinate the NSW Government’s multi-agency response for every city, town, and person impacted by this flood tragedy.
“Steph Cooke is a compassionate and caring Minister who will put our people and communities at the center of the NSW Government’s recovery efforts,” Mr Toole said.
“Minister Cooke will oversee a number of initiatives aimed at helping our flood impacted communities recover, including wellness initiatives, clean-up efforts, rebuilding programs and infrastructure investments.”
Ms Cooke said she is humbled and honoured to be asked by the Premier and Deputy Premier to serve as the Minister for Flood Recovery.
“The challenges our flood affected communities are facing are enormous. From surviving the emergency to enduring the long road to recovery, the impacts of this unprecedented natural disaster will stretch into the future,” Ms Cooke said.
“I will be working every day and night to make sure affected communities bounce back as soon as possible.
“It is my privilege to lead a multi-agency response so that all parts of Government work cohesively to help our communities clean up, rebuild stronger and develop resilience for future natural disasters our State will face.”
In addition to Minister Cooke’s appointment, Gary McKinnon from Resilience NSW has been appointed the Northern NSW Recovery Coordinator and will work closely with Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons.
This committee is responsible for the overall policy direction in response to a crisis and enables key Ministers and senior officials to centrally coordinate strategic planning and public communications.