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Australian man dies after being sucked into floodwaters

Australian man dies after being sucked into floodwaters – as urgent warning issued to stay out of ocean as parasites spread

  • A 56-year-old man died after driving his ute through floodwaters in Broken Hill
  • Unions have asked Scott Morrison to bring back JobKeeper for NSW flood victims
  • Surfers and swimmers told to avoid ocean due to pests after flood

A man has died in the NSW outback after driving his ute through floodwaters in Broken Hill.

The 56-year-old drove his Toyota Landcruiser through floodwater on Tuesday evening before being sucked into a concrete pipe, NSW Police said.

Police and state emergency service volunteers later found his body in the floodwaters.

Meanwhile, unions are calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to reintroduce JobKeeper for people in flood-affected areas in New South Wales.

JobKeeper was a temporary measure designed to keep Australians in employment by supporting businesses affected by COVID with payments of $1,500 per worker per fortnight to cover the cost of wages.

“The arguments that applied to workplaces affected by COVID also apply to workplaces affected by flooding,” NSW union secretary Mark Morey said on Tuesday.

“We cannot allow otherwise healthy businesses to fail because they have been hit by a crisis over which they had no control.”

Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet last week announced a $551 million support package for flood victims, including support for semi-permanent housing such as that used after the Black Summer 2019 bushfires -2020 and mobile motorhomes.

“Emergency payments are short-term measures. We need medium-term structural support, providing solid financial foundations,” Mr Morey said.

The call came as Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned of serious biohazards to ocean swimmers after flooding.

“We know that when we have heavy rain the general advice is no surfing, no swimming in the open sea for a day or two,” Mr Hazzard said.

“When you’ve had a century-old flood, it might be wise not to go surfing with parasites, bacteria and diarrhea.”

Mr Hazzard said the flooding and sewage runoff posed a risk of cryptosporidium, giardia, other parasites and bacteria.

“Normally you have to fight someone away from the waves – this time you might just be fighting the Diarrhea Parasites,” he said.

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