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July 4, 2022

Reconstruction Corporation for the Northern Rivers

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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet is in Lismore this morning and he has just announced a recovery corporation for the Northern Rivers.

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) will coordinate planning, rebuilding and construction work of essential services, infrastructure and housing across multiple government agencies to help people in the Northern Rivers communities to rebuild their homes and lives as quickly as possible.

The NRRC will work within and with the local government areas of Ballina, Byron Bay, Kyogle, Tweed, Richmond Valley, Clarence Valley and Lismore.

As is his habit, Mr Perrottet began by acknowledging the people on the ground. ‘It’s been a challenging two months up here in the Northern Rivers.

A very difficult time

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the NRRC would have broad and extensive powers to consult with the community.

‘There has been a lot of pain and suffering for many people. We’ve had people lose their lives. Many people have had their homes destroyed and businesses lost. It has been a very difficult time, but it’s very pleasing for me as Premier to once again be in the Northern Rivers, with the strength and the resilience of our people up here and to see the progress on the ground. I know we provide a lot of comfort for many people. But there’s a long journey to go.

‘As I’ve said in the past, when these natural disasters hit it’s so often the case as the immediate attention dissipates, a government’s attention can fall away as well. Well, I said from the outset that would not occur here in New South Wales, that not one person will be left behind in the Northern Rivers.

‘That’s why today we are announcing the establishment of the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation.’

Long-term remit for reconstruction of flood-hit communities

The NRRC will have a long-term remit for the reconstruction of flood-hit communities in the Northern Rivers, which will continue beyond the immediate response and recovery phase, which is being led by Resilience NSW. 

The NRRC will sit within the Department of Regional NSW and report to the Deputy Premier. David Witherdin will lead the development corporation as CEO. Mr Witherdin currently leads Public Works Advisory and the Soil Conservation Service, and was previously the CEO of Local Land Services.

A more resilient community

Mr Perrottet said that we need to build back in a stronger way and a more resilient way to give faith and confidence to communities. ‘At the end of it, the Northern Rivers will be in a much stronger place than before the floods occurred. And that’s what’s most important. There’s no point rebuilding the same way. We need to rebuild in a way that builds resilience going forward. That’s exactly what this corporation will do.’

The NRRC will be supported by an advisory board consisting of local representatives, such as local members of parliament and mayors, as well as leaders in the community, ensuring local expertise and knowledge is at the core of the NRRC work. 

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new corporation would lead a single, coordinated whole-of-government approach to the permanent recovery and rebuilding of communities across the Northern Rivers.

Key component will be input from local community

‘A key component of this corporation will be input from the local community – if I’ve learned anything, over the last two months in the Northern Rivers, it has been the importance of local communities in providing input into government.

‘The best decisions in these situations are not made from Macquarie Street. They’re made from an understanding and appreciation of the issues that are on the ground.

‘The NRRC will be able to draw on the recommendations from the Inquiry and lead the long-term reconstruction work to build certainty for future generations.

A united, effective and coordinated response

‘The rebuilding of Lismore and surrounding areas will require a united, effective and coordinated response to enable everyone in the community to plan for the future and get on with their lives, and that will be the driving responsibility of this new authority.’

The NRRC will have the power to work with councils to identify, prioritise and support projects that can rejuvenate communities within the Northern Rivers area, with a particular emphasis on housing and supporting social infrastructure.

Power to compulsorily acquire or subdivide land

The new body will also have the power to compulsorily acquire or subdivide land, speed up and fast-track the building of new premises and accelerate the delivery of planning proposals through the Department of Planning and Environment. The insurance, construction and infrastructure sectors will be important contributors, alongside local government, industry, businesses and residents.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the NRRC would have broad and extensive powers to consult with the community and assist in making towns more resilient to future flooding events.

‘The floods have had a devastating impact and the NSW Government will continue to provide assistance to enable the people of the Northern Rivers to get back on their feet,’ said Mr Toole. 

The transition from recovery and clean-up

‘As we transition from recovery and clean-up the focus will shift to how we can make the infrastructure and homes of the region more resilient in the event of future natural disasters.’

Resilience NSW will continue to be responsible for providing immediate relief resupplying impacted communities, restoring essential services, cleaning up properties and providing temporary accommodation in the short to medium term. The NRRC’s work will extend beyond these timeframes with a three to five-year remit.

The establishment of the NRRC will allow the NSW Government and local governments to respond and implement any relevant outcomes of the independent review and be a source of collaboration, coordination and long term strategic vision for the Northern Rivers.

Details of how the Corporation will work will be announced shortly.


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19 COMMENTS

  1. Just what they’ve always wanted – free rein to develop anywhere, no limits, not even the scant environmental protections remaining. There are checks and balances for good reason, we’ve just experienced the outcomes of climate change, can we please look after the Earth, there’s no Planet B.
    Humans need to realise we’re not entitled to want we want.

  2. So, the “corporation” will “have the power to compulsorily acquire or subdivide land”.
    What could possibly go wrong 😐

  3. Yes Wanderer – the fact they’ve called it a corporation rather than a commission makes my hackles immediately arise. The ability to compulsorily acquire and develop land is frightening and could lead to even further trauma for our communities if this is done without sensitivity. I pray that the local advisory board will be a good representation of people who genuinely care for the long term interests of this place and NO DISASTER CAPITALISM!!!!!!

  4. “The new body will also have the power to compulsorily acquire or subdivide land, speed up and fast-track the building of new premises and accelerate the delivery of planning proposals through the Department of Planning and Environment.”
    Warning! Warning!

  5. The problem arises when this Corporation uses it’s power to support unsustainable developments such as the North Lismore Plateau. The fact for example is that Council last September, by a slim margin, approved Stage 1 of the Winten development consisting of an 87 plus lot subdivision along Dunoon Road opposite the show ground.

    Council, before xmas, then built a ‘flash’ now pot holed, road to the entrance of the proposed subdivision.

    The Council had already borrowed 10’s of million dollars for the infrastructure support to develop the Plateau and subdivide the Dunoon Road flood plain. This includes the upgrade of the South Lismore sewerage works, a cool 6 million costing that has become a pumping station pushing raw sewerage into the Wilson River.

    Another scam is that Council has approved borrowing another 10 million to build a water storage dam obo the developers.

    The estimate for the developers take is about 45 to 50 million, depending on the price people are willing to pay for land that went under water in the 2022 floods and is now uninsurable.

    So, will the new corporation be a little smarter and listen to reason without being beholden to populist and outdated planning values or will the ridiculous charade and shrill chorus of the greedy National Party/ Real estate party / power brokers party be back in business at the Community expense??

  6. It’s a good start. Hopefully for Lismore as well. Finally someone showing some leadership. Go Dom . He seems a safe pair of hands. Good on him for meeting with Janelle . No point scoring . Let’s get the job done together . Recovery is more important than petty bickering . It’s above politics . Dare I say it a liberal/Nat with heart. A rare commodity.

  7. What started as a vote-magnet/thought-bubble by State MP Saffin has become reality via our compliant Premier.
    So let battle commence with her local alternates & the pre-existing disaster authorities.
    Best of luck !

  8. This will be the most traumatic development. I hope and pray the people come together against this. They will throw all sorts of things in this development , to make it shiny. But dont trust, they’ve planned this disaster and were the master manipulators of what occured. 6uild 6ack 6etter is a global mantra thats NOT a coincidence. COMMUNITY IS THE NEW CURRENCY . God bless the Northern Rivers and those who reside. God will behind your backs and the place will flourish without the interceptors.

  9. With all these conspiracy theorist saying this was man made, what hope does the government or anyone have
    You are dammed if you do and damned if you don’t
    It’s disgusting to say this was man made for a land grab

  10. I really hope people stand together in Lismore, they are coming with fake smiles and fake helps to get your land for nothing. Stand strong, they created this storm, they are trying yo end with the small people in farming & fishing industry. They are going to continue to work their plan until people are fed up and just wanna out , like the UK government already offering a lump sum to anyone who wants to leave or retire from farming.

  11. I really hope people stand together in Lismore, they are coming with fake smiles and fake helps to get your land for nothing. Stand strong, they created this storm, they are trying yo end with the small people in farming & fishing industry. They are going to continue to work their plan until people are fed up and just wanna out , like the UK government already offering a lump sum to anyone who wants to leave or retire from farming.

  12. Wow a huge spend on reconstruction in the northern rivers, and a new reconstruction authority just for the northern rivers.

    Bugger the flood victims in the hawkesbury-nepean, and other parts of the state.

    Our community just became the immorality of pork barreling that it has been whingeing about for the past three years, didn’t it?

  13. Remember how I keep telling people to stop demanding big daddy government to solve your problems for you?

    Don’t think the problems will actually get solved either. You will get new problems while having your property norms violated.

  14. No doubt this is the implementation prototype for the Klause swab and bill gates new world order, where good old Klause has told us “ You will own nothing “. Now a corporation pretending to have compassion is going to have sweeping powers to come in and take everything. The government has been working on weather manipulation for decades and the least vaccine compliant district in Australia is underwater in a matter of hours. I think they may have perfected it. Get ready to head off to the “quarantine camps “ the ones with the hidden gas pipes that go to a vent in every room.

  15. Hi my name is Mark otoole I am a single father of four children my
    Eldest has a disability and we also are a Carer for a 78-year-old lady we like so many others have completely lost everything including our three houses on our farm and any help you can give us would be absolutely amazing

  16. Yes where’s the ” Fasttrack the help” to small business in and around Lismore area. Shopkeepers , farmers , industrial , homeowners . Where’s the help. For gawds sakes someone cut through the red tape. Go Janelle , she’s the only one really standing up for Lismore . Doing it , rather than just saying it.

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