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Vinnies prepares for long-term flood aid
    Flooding across northern and central NSW is likely to take demand for help from local St Vincent de Paul Conferences up to the level experienced during droughts in the early 1990s.
    The Catholic Weekly reports that in several of the worst affected areas, Vinnies leaders say farm families are confronting their third year with little or no income from crops.
    The state council is considering providing on-going financial assistance to affected areas at a state level. It also plans to write to the Premier, Bob Carr, to inquire about setting up an assistance fund similar to that established during the drought.
    Spin-off effects of the floods are already being felt at Narrabri, where the Society's centre president, Col Hanley, is distributing food to cotton chippers who arrived in town expecting to start work two weeks ago.
    "In the longer term we'll have farmers calling on us for food," Col Hanley said.
    In Gunnedah the Society's centre closed for a week after flood waters came into the front of the shop, although diocesan centre president Jack Boland said damage was minimal.
Cath Weekly