We Are Explorers is calling on the NSW and QLD state governments to call a state of emergency and for the Australian Government to commit more funding and defence assistance for the Northern NSW and South East Queensland communities devastated by floods. 


The We Are Explorers team has been directly and devastatingly affected by these floods. Our Mullumbimby office and a staff member’s home were inundated by floodwaters early Monday morning. 

Most of our staff have spent the week offline and on the ground, helping the Northern Rivers community as they rally together. Volunteers have been dealt the tasks of rescuing families, the elderly, and the disabled, diverting water away from homes, scraping mud out of businesses, pulling up carpets, and throwing away once-valued possessions, now ruined.

Small Towns Are Being Left Behind

Many small towns and communities in the NSW Northern Rivers have not received any state assistance over the last five days, with some towns still stranded with no food, water, fuel, or power, as floodwaters are yet to recede in some areas. 

Towns such as Mullumbimby, Main Arm, and Wilsons Creek have not had phone service for days, making relaying information and organising needs and services extremely difficult.

SES volunteers and police have been on the ground and 650 Australian Defence Force personnel have been deployed, but it’s simply not enough to deal with the widespread disaster at hand. 

The Federal Government has committed $1000 disaster payments for each adult affected and $400 for each child, as well as larger payments for farmers, businesses, and councils. However this money is for rebuilding homes, workplaces, and lives, not to assist with rescue and clean up, which is what is currently needed.

Neither the NSW or QLD state governments have called a state of emergency, despite tens of thousands of homes having been affected by floodwaters. 

Major towns like Lismore, which saw the river peak at over 14 metres high, have deservedly been given assistance, however many smaller towns and communities have not seen any sign of government or state help in five days. It’s been up to the public to perform dangerous rescues, supply people with food and water, and organise community volunteers. 

Some towns such as Coraki are currently stranded, with no food, water, or power. There are reports that people are drinking unclean water and becoming sick. People are still missing and unaccounted for and others still need rescuing. 

It’s clear that the government response so far to this disaster is not enough, and the risk to life continues once the water recedes. Now that the immediate threat has passed, people need help to access food and clean water, and to start cleaning up their communities. 

How You Can Help

Although it should not solely be up to the public to fund and organise the clean up of such devastation, there are plenty of ways you can lend a helping hand. 


Donate Cash

Cash is king during times like this. As much as clothes, food, and blankets seem like the most practical donation, there’s often a limited capacity to distribute these and people don’t have safe homes to store them. 

If you do want to donate goods, GIVIT has an endless list of specific items people are looking for and need in specific locations across NSW and QLD. GIVIT is working with both the state governments to make sure goods are distributed where they need to go ASAP. 

If you’d prefer to splash some cash, these are the best places to do it;

Wherever you choose to donate, please don’t let it be Peter Dutton’s GoFundMe. 


Make Some Noise

This disaster is far from over. Although the water levels have begun to drop the work to get these communities back on their feet has only just begun and will stretch on for months and years. 

Rally the state and federal governments to take this emergency seriously and to increase the level of on-the-ground assistance in these communities. 

Contact Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office and insist on more emergency funding and defence support.

Shoot him an email here or if you’re really feeling brave, pick up the phone.

Electorate office – (02) 9523 0339
Parliament office – (02) 6277 7700

Contact NSW Premier Dom Perottet’s office and insist he call a state of emergency in NSW. 

You can contact his electorate office by email or get them on the blower.

Electorate office – (02) 9877 0266     
Premier’s office – (02) 8574 6900 and ask to speak with the on call media adviser for the Premier.

Call QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s office and insist she call a state of emergency in QLD. 

Reach the premier’s office by email or phone below.

Premier’s office – (07) 3719 7000


Climate Action Now

Australians will continue to face natural disasters of this severity and greater as the climate begins to warm. The most impactful action governments can take to prevent disasters like this from worsening is stronger climate policy, including a commitment to renewables and no new coal mines. 

You can do your part by voting in favour of strong climate action and the planet in the upcoming federal election.


Photos thanks to Isabella Borriello