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April 21, 2024

House buybacks, raising and retrofit on offer

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House in North Lismore with rising floodwaters, 30 March 2022. Photo Adam Guise.

A joint NSW-federal flood resilience package for house buybacks, raising and retrofits for flood-affected homes in the region will commence from November.

The Resilient Homes Program was announced last week in Lismore by Labor PM Albanese, Liberal NSW Premier Perrottet and local MPs.

Touted to be worth $800m, it will be rolled out by the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC).

Flooding on Tamarind Avenue, Bogangar. Photo from the The Select Committee on the response to Major Flooding across NSW in 2022

Eligible homeowners, according to www.nsw.gov.au, can apply ‘based on expert property assessments, flood impact severity data, safety risks and potential future flood levels’.

Resilient Homes Program community information sessions have been announced for Lismore and Murwillumbah, but none for Byron Shire, as yet.

A house in Mullumbimby in the aftermath of the flooding. (please note: not the house featured in the accompanying story). Image: Jeff Dawson

While North Coast NSW Greens MPs welcomed the package, Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, told The Echo the buybacks could result in a ‘mass exodus of community members’, which ‘is in itself a further trauma’.

Upper House NSW Greens MP and Lismore resident, Sue Higginson, said, ‘Right now, in this state, there are developments planned on floodplains, estuarine areas and beside coastlines that will inevitably be threatened by rising water’.

‘This funding needs to be broadened so that all people who are clearly not safe in their homes are given the opportunity to relocate’.

To register for the Flood Property Assessment Program, visit www.nsw.gov.au.


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