The bill for the worst floods in 40 years in northern NSW is already in the millions and will rise, the state government says.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian was in Tweed Heads area on Monday to get an update from the State Emegency Service.
“Millions have been spent supporting the effort in the last three days,” she told reporters in Banora Point. “There will absolutely be more to come.”
Ms Berejiklian warned insurance companies they were on notice.
“They are on notice. No-one is to drag their feet,” she said.
“They’ll be answerable to me. They’ll be answerable to every person in the community. We want people to be treated fairly. That’s exactly what I’ll insist.”
The clean-up is being in earnest on Monday after a number of communities in Lismore and Murwillumbah were allowed back to their homes to access the damage. Others are expected to get the all-clear on Monday.
Ms Berejiklian also had something to say to people who ignored SES evacuation warnings and stayed in their homes as the flooding began in the aftermath heavy rainfalls driven by former-Cyclone Debbie.
“This was a one-in-40-year event, if not longer. Unfortunately, these freak weather incidents are going to increase,” she said.
“One big learning point everybody has been telling me about here is people not being inclined to listen to warnings and having to have search and rescue operations afterwards.”
The premier also asked everyone to spare a thought for residents returning to their damaged homes.
“This is when it becomes very confronting. A lot of people will be stressed about what they might find when they go back,” she said.
Since Thursday, the SES has dealt with more than 2600 jobs and 480 flood rescues.
The focus now is on helping people move back to their properties and get on with the clean-up.