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Byron Shire
September 29, 2022

Rebuilding for the next flood

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Local MP, Tamara Smith and Sasha Mainsbridge.
Photo Jeff Dawson

Mullum Cares founder and president, Sasha Mainsbridge, opened her home last week to demonstrate how to effectively rebuild for future flood events.

She says she has also visited over 80 local residents in their flooded homes to chat about how to reduce damage and disruption if their homes were to be flooded again.

Sasha told The Echo that ‘Mullum Cares is committed to helping as many flooded home owners as possible to rebuild their houses to be more flood resilient’. 

‘Most people are overwhelmed by the choices involved with rebuilding after the flood. That’s where we can help. We all want to avoid the mountains of waste we saw on the nature strip. The reality is that some materials can be hosed down easily which means people are back in their homes much faster with minimal waste and disruption. For homes that can’t or won’t be raised before the next flood, materials like gyprock and carpet are effectively single-use’.

Sasha’s single-storey brick home in Mullumbimby was impacted by the floods, and is being rebuilt to demonstrate flood-resilient building techniques. 

‘My life before moving to Mullum was a career in the insurance industry, before retraining in conservation and land management. I’m project managing the rebuild of my home, and not allowing AAMI to simply “restore” it “like-for-like”,’ Sasha said. 

Last Wednesday, Sasha opened her house to a large crowd of locals interested in building strategies to withstand flooding. Nick Papanikolas from Brunswick Building Co is leading Sasha’s rebuild, and was on hand to talk through his approach to flood resilient rebuilds. In support of this initiative, Local MP, Tamara Smith also visited Sasha’s home. 

Ms Smith said, ‘I am so supportive of community efforts like important work Mullum Cares is undertaking to support flooded residents as the State’s response is, quite honestly, too slow.’

The Mullum Cares team are operating from the shipping container office in the Railway Shed yard, on the corner of Prince and Ann Streets, from Monday till Wednesday, 9am till 12pm. To make a booking for an office appointment or a home visit, visit www.mullumcares.com.au. 

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