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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

$70M for rebuilding community assets post flood

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Justine Elliot Federal Member for Richmond, Janelle Saffin State Member for Lismore and Geoff Provest State Member for Tweed announcing $70M in flood funding. Photo supplied

Justine Elliot Federal Member for Richmond, Janelle Saffin State Member for Lismore and Geoff Provest State Member for Tweed announced the joint Federal and NSW Government funding to assist in the repair of flood-damaged community facilities yesterday.

The 70 million dollar fund is targeted at building back better facilities following the floods including parks, playgrounds, walkways, places of cultural heritage, and other community assets like libraries, pedestrian bridges, and community-based pre-schools.

While all NSW disaster declared LGAs from the February and June 2022 events are eligible, funding would be targeted to those councils that had experienced the greatest damage.

‘The Albanese Government continues to work with the NSW Government, and all levels of government, to provide important support to communities like ours on the North Coast,’ Federal MP for Richmond, Labor’s Justine Elliot said.

‘The floods last year were devastating for our region, and nearly a year on, we know there is still so much work to be done. This funding means that many of our vital community assets like parks, playgrounds and libraries can be repaired.’

Floodwaters inundated the Murwillumbah CBD including Knox Park where the Murwillumbah Community Centre is located (top left of image). Work is now being undertaken to repair community facilities with more resilience to withstand future flooding events. Photo supplied

State Member for Tweed, Nationals Geoff Provest said ‘The funding in this package will provide the extra assistance many regional communities need to repair, restore and enhance community infrastructure directly damaged by floods.’

‘Under this program, local councils hardest hit by floods are eligible to apply for funding between $100,000 and $7.5 million for projects that support the repair, restoration and betterment of directly impacted community infrastructure,’ said Mr Provest.
State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin welcomed the additional funding, saying it would help the five local councils in her electorate restore some of the community infrastructure that remained damaged by flooding almost a year ago.

‘The Community Assets Program is aimed at ‘building back better’ for the future by improving the resilience of these essential assets in Lismore City, Kyogle, Tenterfield Shire, Tweed Shire, and Byron Shire local government areas,’ Janelle Saffin said.

‘I encourage eligible councils to make the most of this opportunity to support our local communities as they come back stronger than ever.’

Inside the muddy Murwillumbah Community Centre in the days after the flood in March 2022. Photo supplied

Funding welcomed

Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry welcomed the joint announcement by the Australian and NSW Governments to offer an additional $70 million to help flood-affected communities across the State, including the Tweed, repair community infrastructure.

‘The devastating floods of 2022 impacted a wide range of community infrastructure, Council buildings and facilities across the Tweed, but plans are well underway to build back better this year,’ Cr Cherry said.

‘This additional funding will certainly help in the repair of these vital community facilities which play such an important role in the lives of so many people and which have been missed since they were damaged in the flood.

‘To see them being brought back into operation will certainly give us much to cheer about.’

Among Council’s top priorities for restoration of community facilities is the repair of Murwillumbah Community Centre (MCC) with work anticipated to start later this month.

The service has been operating on a temporary basis out of Council’s Coolamon Centre since its headquarters in Knox Park were inundated last February. To ensure better protection during future flood events, repair works will build in greater flood resilience through measures such as raising power and data points, installing more cement sheeting walls and replacing timber doors, cabinetry and carpets with more water-proof materials.

Other community facilities due for flood restoration work include the Tweed Heads Library, several community halls, the Murwillumbah saleyards, the Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre (TRAC) and the fire control centre in Murwillumbah used by the Rural Fire Service (RFS).

Applications for the Community Asset Program are now open. For more information and to apply, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/2022CLIRP.

Eligible LGAs: Councils from non-targeted LGAs that were disaster declared under AGRN 1012 and/or AGRN 1025 in 2022 may be considered for funding if they can demonstrate need and support for a project in their community with robust alignmentto the program criteria.

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  1. $70 Million would be better off spent going towards constructing flood barrages with access for boat access at the king tide mark on the mouth of every tidal river the full distance of the NSW coastline .
    It is the incoming tide that won’t allow the upstream flood waters to drain out to sea because the fresh water flows over the salt water because it is lighter and floods out either side of the rivers ,so there need be barrages built that can be opened on the out going tide and closed on the incoming tide allowing flood water to flow over the barrage until the gates can be opened again on the turn of the tide which will solve Lismore’s and other upstream communities flooding problems because the water will be able to escape .

    • Are you serious Neville, what century do you think this might happen in?, flood victims need all the help they can get NOW. Much credit should go to Janelle Saffin, Justine Elliott and Geoff Provest for making it happen.


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