Liberal MP Catherine Cusack to resign over her outrage at 'selective' flood relief payments in Northern Rivers

Liberal MP Catherine Cusack to resign over her outrage at ‘selective’ flood relief payments in Northern Rivers

Catherine Cusack

Liberal MP Catherine Cusack has announced she intends to resign from the New South Wales parliament over the selective distribution of disaster funding in flood-affected northern NSW.

The ABC has reported that Cusack is “outraged” by how funds have been allocated to flood victims in the Northern Rivers, specifically that areas in the Nationals-held seat of Page were given more assistance than areas in the Labor-held seat of Richmond.

It means Ballina, Bryon and Tweed shires – in the Labor-held Richmond seat – have missed out on the federal government’s additional disaster relief payments.

The idea that being a flood victim in a National Party-held seat makes you more worthy than a flood victim who is in the Richmond electorate … is probably the most unethical approach I have ever seen,” Cusack told the ABC, explaining her decision to leave the NSW parliament.

“The whole Northern Rivers should have been given funding according to their need, not according to their LGA, it‘s unprecedented,” Cusack said.

“I can‘t defend it and I’m outraged by it”.

Cusack, a Liberal Upper House MP, lives in the Northern Rivers region in Lennox Head, and has witnessed the desperate need of disaster relief payments for many people in the area.

Catherine Cusack MP

Meanwhile, Labor MP Justine Elliot, the member for Richmond, has taken to social media to share her outrage of the payment allocations.

“Scott Morrison has excluded Tweed, Byron & Ballina Shires from extra disaster payments. Due to this – Lib MP Catherine Cusack has JUST RESIGNED from Parliament. I agree with this decision & all North Coast Liberals & Nationals should resign. They have ALL failed us,” Elliot wrote on Twitter.

“Locals will not forgive and will not forget that in the midst of this ongoing crisis, Scott Morrison and his candidate Kimberly Hone, along with all local Liberals and Nationals, have deliberately excluded our area from extra disaster payments.”

9News reports that Cusack’s official resignation from parliament isn’t expected until after the preselection process to replace her has taken place.

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