Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon has called for all three levels of government to work together to find a solution to the flooding situation at Testers Hollow.
Mr Fitzgibbon spoke in Parliament on Wednesday in response to statements made by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who both acknowledged the Australian communities that were affected by natural disasters in December and January.
Mr Fitzgibbon said he had heard of many people in his electorate that had been devastated by the storms in April 2015, only to be affected again in January this year.
He paid tribute to the people of Gillieston Heights, who were isolated for days after the April superstorm, for their stoicism and courage.
"It is time for the State Government to do something about the access to Gillieston Heights," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"I went to school in Maitland, travelling from my home town of Cessnock, and the school bus was cut off regularly at Testers Hollow, the roadway through just before Gillieston Heights. We were unable to get to school.
"I am now 54 years of age... and still in heavy rains and floods the access to Gillieston Heights is still being blocked by floods.
"We are in the 21st century and it is time the state government became very serious about making sure that is not the case and that the residents of Gillieston Heights are not stranded in the way they were during the April storms and again recently.
"They were not landlocked this time, because it was only blocked off on one side this time, but they were in April.
"They should never have to experience that again in this modern world.
"Where we have all the wit in the world, we should be able to address that problem, and money should not be a barrier to such an important project.
"It does not have to be the lifting of the road; there might be other solutions – for example, a different route for the road.
"I have heard some alternatives, but whatever it is it should be done and it should be done quickly.
"Indeed, all three levels of government should be working together to make sure that is the case."
Mr Fitzgibbon also spoke about the flooding issues in South Cessnock, recalling his days as a Cessnock councillor, wading through water helping residents sandbag their homes.
"South Cessnock is still flooding. In heavy rains it floods," he said.
"I am not too critical of the council; I know it has a strategy or plan that is working on the issue.
"But I think South Cessnock residents, many of whom were there all those years ago and well before I was wading through the water, deserve to have that problem addressed.
"They have had water through their homes on too many occasions, and surely in the 21st century we have both the finances and the wit to do something about that problem."
Mr Fitzgibbon said these events served as a reminder that people cannot control the weather.
"We cannot control Mother Nature. Mother Nature is far more powerful than any technology we have, including nuclear capacity," he said.
"When the volcano goes off or the winds or the high seas come – the tsunami – and wipes an island continent out, there is nothing human beings can do. We need to take care of our environment."
"We can go out and help as best we can and protect ourselves as best we can, but we cannot protect ourselves from the most erratic weather events.
"So we should be taking a public policy approach that reassures people that, as best we can, we are making sure that the activities of the human race are not making those events more likely."
Mr Fitzgibbon also paid tribute to North Rothbury volunteer firefighter Paul Sanderson, who died of a heart attack while battling a blaze at Stanford Merthyr in November.
"I do not think that any of us can speak too highly of those who are doing that important and dangerous work," he said.
"It is a sad and tragic loss. I suspect that almost every member of this place would have a similar story, given the sheer number of volunteers we have out there on a regular basis."