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June 20, 2024

First buyback offers for flooded homeowners

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Flooded homeowners in the Northern Rivers have been waiting a long time to hear the news that buybacks have begun.

The buybacks are part of the Northern Rivers Resilient Homes Program, jointly funded by the federal and NSW governments, with the first of them being made to residential homeowners located in the highest-risk flood zones.

The $700 million program is aimed at supporting homeowners in the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Local Government Areas to re-establish their lives after the devastating floods.

Getting people out of harms’ way

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said that getting people out of harms’ way will help to prevent repeats of the life-altering floods we’ve seen in the last few years in the Northern Rivers.

‘This package is about protecting families and properties from future floods, and is one of a number of recovery supports being offered in the region.’

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) aims to make buyback offers to the first 250 residents whose homes are in the region’s highest flood risk areas by the end of April and would only ramp up from there.

The NRRC has received approximately 6500 applications for buybacks across the region, leading to criticism of the time taken to roll out the buybacks, and doubts as to whether the funding available will be sufficient to buy back all flood-affected properties in the highest-risk zones at a price sufficient to allow residents to purchase land and move their houses within the local region.

New South Wales Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said a trial of the program was carried out to ensure the smoothest possible process.

Getting the process right

‘Given the scale of the flooding disaster and its impact on communities, it’s important we get the buyback process right.’

NRRC chief executive David Witherdin said all residents registered with the Resilient Homes Program would be contacted about their eligibility to receive a buyback, or funding support for house raising or home retrofitting by mid-2023.

‘I know for many people, receiving a buyback offer will be life-changing and the next step on their recovery journey. I want to assure everyone there is no pressure to decide and people can take as long or as little time as they need to consider their offer and their options.’

The Northern Rivers Resilient Homes Program will also provide financial assistance of up to $100,000 for house raising or up to $50,000 for retrofitting for homeowners in areas where flood risk can be reduced by better building standards. Work on house raising and retrofit work is expected to commence from mid-2023 onwards.

For detailed information about the program, including guidelines, eligibility and co-contributions, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/resilienthomesprogram.

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    • What a shame you choose to be a small minded human. This could have happened to anyone who is desperate to buy in somewhere, anywhere and that’s all they can afford. Do you also complain when your tax money goes on some other of the outrageous choices the government decides to use tax payers money on? (such as earth destroying practices, ‘defence’ expense and more). This on the other hand is exactly where tax payers money SHOULD go towards. To actually help other fellow human beings.


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