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Byron Shire
March 30, 2023

NSW Labor to stop floodplain development if elected 

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The Tweed River at Chinderah during the February-March 2022 flood. Photo supplied.

With the NSW Liberal-Nationals government still allowing developments on floodplains, NSW Labor candidate Andrew Broadley told The Echo ‘Labor would not allow new housing for anyone to be developed in the floodplain’.

According to Labor leader Chris Minns, ‘NSW has experienced an escalating number of major flood events in recent years’. 

‘It’s increasingly clear that we cannot continue to develop and build on dangerous floodplains, and risk putting more people in harm’s way.

‘There are too many government entities responsible for planning, flood recovery and reconstruction, and while all intentions are good, there is often too much buck-passing and a lack of accountability.

‘Other than the Minister for Local Government, there are five separate ministers in the current government with various planning powers.

Streamline responsibility

‘NSW Labor will adopt a proactive approach to planning and mitigating against the impact of floods and charge one minister with the responsibility of stopping further development on dangerous floodplains.

‘Labor’s commitment builds on the recommendations of the O’Kane and Fuller flood report, which called for simplifying the planning system, coordinating with councils and planning authorities, and ensuring flood planning is factored into future planning decisions’.

View from Station Street over the pod site to Prince Street as flood waters receded during the February 28 flood. Photo supplied

The Echo sought clarification from the office of Labor leader Chris Minns. The reply, in part was, ‘We will work with all flood-impacted communities in Western Sydney and across NSW, and with the NSW Reconstruction Authority, a new agency championed by the Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin MP,.

The Echo asked Nationals candidate, Josh Booyens, ‘Will the Nats also stop floodplain development? And, ‘In the context of Council’s Mullum “affordable housing” plans, would it be included as well, for example?’

Booyens replied, ‘The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation has already commenced the process of offering buybacks to relocate those most severely affected by the floods.

‘But I would agree with [Nats MP] Kevin Hogan that this needs to be faster. No one wants to see more flooded homes. So instead, let’s approach this issue with some common sense, cooperation, and urgency’.

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