Rain has returned to the NSW coast, with residents in several regions warned to prepare for heavy falls and flash flooding, amid an ongoing stoush over flood recovery funding.
NSW has been hit by repeated flooding in recent weeks, with the state’s north and north-west devastated by consecutive deluges since February.
While the recovery and clean-up efforts are ongoing, so is the rain.
Bureau of Meteorology meteorologist Sarah Scully said heavy rainfall was predicted for NSW central and south coasts for the rest of the week.
“We’re forecasting six-hourly rainfall totals between 60 and 100 millimetres, with up to 140 millimetres about coastal areas,” Ms Scully said on Wednesday.
Heavy rain is also forecast for Sydney from Wednesday, with up to 100 millimetres likely. Downpours are also expected to reach as far south as Canberra later in the week.
The BOM has warned that saturated catchments could respond quickly to any bursts of rain, raising fears of flash flooding and landslips.
A severe weather warning extends from Gosford to south of Bega and inland to the central and southern tablelands.
The rain is predicted to increase on Thursday and continue through to the weekend.
Flood watches have been issued for central and southern coast rivers.
Minor to moderate flooding is expected for the Wollombi Brook, Lower Hunter, Nepean, Hawkesbury, Upper Coxs, Colo, Macdonald, Parramatta, Georges, Woronora, Shoalhaven, Clyde, Moruya, Deua, Macquarie, Queanbeyan and Molonglo rivers.
The threat of further flooding comes while northern NSW communities continue a clean-up, amid a stoush between the NSW and federal governments over funding for the recovery effort.
NSW announced new $20,000 grants to assist with the rebuilding of flood-damaged, uninsured homes on Monday. The state government said it was putting up the money because it was tired of waiting for federal input.
But Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday he had written to Premier Dominic Perrottet to stress his government was happy to split funding.
Mr Perrottet said while his government was willing to work with the Commonwealth, it would ultimately meet the needs of communities as they’re identified.
“If we can do more we will, we’ve requested further [federal] assistance … From my perspective, I want to make sure we give as much support as we can,” Mr Perrottet told ABC Radio National on Wednesday.
“The other issue we have, which is a bit frustrating, is there seem to be people who are disqualified [from receiving federal funding]… based on where they live.
“To me, it doesn’t matter if you’ve lost your home in Lismore or Mullumbimby, you’re in the same situation.”
Mr Perrottet hopes to get support from the federal government to expand the homes grants scheme while attributing discrepancies in funding delivery to a lack of understanding by the federal government.
He also wants to reduce bureaucracy in administering grants, so that money can be distributed faster.
While an inquiry into the flooding disaster and response is due to report back to the NSW government by the end of September, there will be a pre-emptive examination during a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday.
Emergency Services and Resilience Minister Steph Cooke will face the hearing, along with Resilience NSW Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Rob Rogers.