Late last night it was announced that today it will be made official – the Federal and State governments will jointly fund an $800 million voluntary home buyback program designed to help up to 2,000 homeowners in the Northern Rivers.
The Prime Minister and the Premier will announce the plan today in Lismore.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed an $800-million Resilient Homes Fund as a down payment on ‘building back better’ from this year’s floods.
Ms Saffin thanked Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet for coming to Lismore today to jointly announce the Fund, which includes voluntary house purchase (including relocatables), voluntary house raising, and retrofitting to make homes flood resistant, to make residents safe and secure.
A landmark day
‘This really is a landmark day in the history of the Northern Rivers region. It is the start of giving local people clarity about their choices in the future, and speaks to the transformational adaptation to natural disasters. The next phase needs to strengthen our economic and environmental recovery.
‘I have pushed for this Fund from immediately after the February 28 flood because what we lived through was akin to inland tsunami which created a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen since Darwin’s Cyclone Tracy.
A range of flood recovery grants
Ms Saffin is thankful for the range of flood recovery grants on offer, some of them new ones, but a Resilient Homes Fund for our region – similar to that offered to Queensland homeowners in April, was critical.
‘In addition to my very early calls for this, I formally wrote to the Premier urging the NSW Government to reach out to the Commonwealth to secure such a Resilient Homes Fund, as the process dictates.
‘The guidelines for and options offered needed to be flexible; the funding significant; and local communities genuinely included in decisions impacting their futures.
‘The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) led by Chief Executive David Witherdin, will roll the program out with this approach including $100 million all up for flood-free local land acquisition.’
Ms Saffin said she was pleased that the Albanese Labor Government has come through for the region.