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November 30, 2022

Will the flood buyback see a mass exodus from the region?

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The entire Northern Rivers is buzzing with the news that there will be buybacks for some flooded homes in the area.

Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, told The Echo this morning that the community welcomes today’s announcement of over $800 million. ‘I was very pleased to stand with local MPs, the Prime Minister, and the Premier this morning in North Lismore at the home of Brian Burgin who was flooded to his rooftop and is very keen to apply for a buyback.’

Will people move away?

Ms Smith there will also challenges associated with the scheme. ‘A lot of people won’t want to leave the area and as we know the cost of land and property near Lismore is extremely high, so seeing a mass exodus of community members is in itself a further trauma.’

Ms Smith said the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) needs to use the supposed allocated $100m for house relocations to acquire lands to enable affordable house relocations. ‘We don’t want buybacks to create an exodus of people from our community.

‘Details of who is eligible and the flood heights that impact them needs to be readily available so residents know where they stand in terms of the options available to them.

‘There needs to be clear and consistent communication from the NRRC with residents to enable them to make informed decisions.’

Devil in the detail

Ms Smith said the devil is in the detail. ‘If it’s used to exclude people unfairly there will be resentment and unrest. The support needs to be through the lens of fairness and equity and a genuine desire to get people out of harm’s way.’

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  1. Will the flood buyback see a mass exodus from the region?
    That is the question. And what could happen from that question?
    This area of the Northern Rivers is then tainted with a blight of a reputation.
    It is receiving state aid from the NSW government It is a flood area.
    It is a social welfare area.
    Houase pricews could fall. Tourism could fall Busioness could fall.
    With the money from the government the area also will receive a name.

  2. There will be a min exodus eh? It’s only $800 million for the entire Northern Rivers. A LOT of towns. And no fine details yet. We can now register our interest and address. I am assuming low houses will be a priority. I live in one, in South Lismore. There were, 897 houses in North and South Lismore alone. At least 12 fell off or floated away. Four that I know of, were torn from their moorings and floated away. Some have been demolished, and at least 50 for sale. Lots of folk will stay, going by word of mouth. And lots want to leave. Whether they are eligible or not, we don’t know yet. Some, are renting their house out now and living elsewhere. The stress being too much. The amount of money provided by government will provide an escape route for some. The way I see it at least. And then there are other towns. Murwillumbah, Coraki, Woodburn, Broadwater, Tweed etc & I think it also involves some rural. There will be no mass exodus, just small one’s from each area perhaps? Time will tell..

  3. A major problem is the cost. How are we going to pay the gap betwern selling our flood zone homes and buying a high ground home.
    Delaying info after another flood season is cruel. It will be a full 12 months untol we know if we wasted money repairing our homes and if we can move rlto safty or not.
    The aplication was just putting in name and address, which was good as we still eaiting on any grant.

  4. Someone needs to explain to Tamara Smith what “fairness”, “equity” and “social justice” mean.

    There is none of this for the renters who she seems to think deserve to remain non-homeowners while paying taxes to maintain the homeowner status of other people.

    Renters are just peasants unworthy of consideration, to all the political parties, sadly.

    Taxpayers’money should be used for social housing, not to buy houses for some individuals.

    Lismore will be forever be known as a nasty town dominated by immoral, self-interested people

  5. Allow interest free loans across the board so they can repair their lives , homes Pay the interest out of tax the same for renters to reestablish their accommodation and lives.


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