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Byron Shire
April 17, 2024

Buybacks on the table for the Northern Rivers

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Local, State and Federal MPs at the home of North Lismore resident Brian Burgin today. Photo courtesy Tamara Smith MP.

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.

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  1. Why should tax payers have to foot the bill because people were stupid enough to build in a flood prone area? This is a disgrace.

    • And who was stupid enough to allow the building on flood plain in the first instance?
      Local and State authorities, so it is entirely right that they involved.

    • Why do we pay for people who get injured playing sport or travelling? It was their choice. Driving a car without all the best safety bells and whistles? Better not crash it because Stephen might say ” Why should tac payers cover you- you could have bough a car at twice the price and been safer, you idiot”. Why do we fund libraries when not every one needs them? Why do we fund public transport etc. Why do we pay for people who need our help? Because we have empathy and want to keep our community together perhaps. Not everyone was in a house that had ever flooded before, and yet they found themselves on their roofs. From my house on the hill I looked down on my neighbours submerged houses. Submerged for the first time ever. I didn’t call them stupid. Not everyone can afford to buy or rent in a different area. From each according to their means and no more, to each according to their needs and no more. I am happy for my taxes to go towards humanitarian assistance in my community. I suspect the people who gripe about this also gripe about foreign aid, saying we should spend it here. Well, in this instance we are. My heart goes out to all my flood affected neighbours and I am happy this announcement might finally give you a bit of relief. There but for grace, Stephen.

      • Kiz
        Since you are so keen to support stupid people and their stupid decisions, why not arrange a Gofund me page? I don’t want a cent of my money going to these idiots.

        • mate those houses have been there since lismore was settled and theres limited new housing supply for people to buy new houses so what choice to people have but to buy houses in the flood plain. IT costs tax payers millions each flood, so your comment doesn’t even make sense, over the long term it will save the taxpayer. Plus ever heard about caring for other people and making a better society?

        • how is someone who works as a nurse at the hospital, can only afford a house on the floodplain, have kids to feed, an idiot? you sire are an idiot, you have no understanding of the property market, town planning or reality, you live in your own bubble where only your own interests are important

    • morrison government wasted 2 billion on submarines deal that were never built, that money went off shore into french navy pockets, remember that? and your complaining about 800 million for helping our own people, that money goes back into the local economy.

  2. Wow Stephen, what great community spirit you have!
    Yes!! people have built or purchased in flood, many others flooded that had never before flooded and also no one knows what impact other buildings & developments have had on the flood vulnerability of the region, and or the management of the infrastructure for that matter.
    Lets make a big change now, get more people off the flood prone list and get them contributing back into society in a positive way and hopefully for your sake, you don’t get sick or become in some way in need of anyone’s support, because the karma police might not be so kind.

    • Matt there’s a big difference in someone getting sick through no fault of their own, and in someone building in a city that is known for its flooding and then expecting the tax payer to bail them out. Let them sink or swim!

    • Morrison was convicted of ? In 1984 research please share your findings 🤔 is he on that list with other public servants?as the plot thickens roads are farked Floods wall is farked the new hwy holds water that backs up local rivers can not handle the water blockages on our flood plans seems like they damed us in and the great seal was removed in 1973 The; Great seal of the Commonwealth constitution uk 1900-1 .The Great Seal is required to make Commonwealth Law Its the most central thing to run Government and parliament under the Constitution and did not have authority to remove the great seal in 1973 that means it was done in treason an every act since is not valid law no authority means that there is no law ever since The Document is the most important Document to blow every current government parliament in Australia Documents have been filed with federal police Government have been put on notice ? Time for all you people to do some research 🤔☀️💫✝️🌕🌎🌑🏛️™️👁️⛪☪️⛪🕒🕑🏦™️🌐®️🚻💉©️🛃🔚🔜🤔♥️🙏?gobsmacked

  3. Wait till $20 million home owners along the beach-fronts get hit by tidal surges, mini tsunamis or coastal erosion and despite them knowing these risks when they bought there, will demand compensation from public money.

  4. This sounds like it’s ‘trauma bound’. A taxpayer opposing human rights because he can. Some families do have them.

  5. Lismore has been flooding for years, so people should have known better. And even if the whole area had never flooded in history, it’s still not the government’s job to buy houses. The people who own the houses should take responsibility for their own lives.

    • so someone in there 20s, with a family, $500 for a house on the flood plain, 1 million for a house on the hill, these are workers that serve your coffee, care for you at the hospital, fix the roads. could you live your standard of living without these people ?

  6. Dear Stephen you would naturally be aware that the whole of this country is a never ending leaky boat that’s traumatized? Do we
    organize a population shift to Tomorrow Land? Get real. We are walking on water & you know it. Shelter is anyone’s right.

  7. Taxpayer funds should be used to build much-needed public housing, not to buy houses for individuals.

    Anyone who disagrees with Stephen is essentially saying that some people deserve to remain peasants of the renting class (or worse, homeless, if they can’t find one), while others should have their homeowner status maintained by the taxpayer (including those of the renting class not being bought a house) without any responsibility to protect themselves. This is an immoral position to hold, and it is shameful that Lismore’s so-called Labor MP advocated this


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