In March 2021 the Hawkesbury region experienced catastrophic flooding to a scale not seen in over 50 years. Natural disasters are an enormously disruptive and dislocating event that present dozens of practical and legal problems for those affected. In response, the Western Sydney Community Legal Centre’s Community Justice team has increased our presence in the hardest hit areas.
In collaboration with Legal Aid NSW, Resilience NSW, the Hawkesbury City Council and community organisations, Flood Recovery Centres have been set up to give residents a centralised place to access support. Recovery Centres offer a range of government and non-government services, including financial assistance, accommodation advice, clean-up services, mental health and wellbeing services, and legal services.
Two of our Community Justice Solicitors, Caitlin Comensoli and Jesse Skiller, have been attending recovery centres across the Hawkesbury to provide face-to-face legal advice. To help residents during this time, we have been assisting with:
- Issues with insurance claims;
- Issues with trees, fences, pollution and animals;
- Issues with credit and loans;
- Issues with utility providers; and
- Many other legal issues.
Our Community Legal Centre Program also has a presence in the Hawkesbury area through community legal clinics at the Hawkesbury Central Library, Riverstone Community Centre, North Richmond Community Centre, Bligh Park Community Centre and Richmond Community Services Inc. We are committed to prioritising flood-related enquiries, and encourage any affected residents to see us at the recovery centres, drop into a community legal clinic, or contact our offices at Parramatta or Rooty Hill.
Going forward, we hope to continue providing on-the-ground legal support to the Hawkesbury community, and partnering with community organisations in the region.
Looking for more information?