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April 22, 2024

Saffin calls on NRRC for transparency

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Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg, Lismore member Janelle Saffin, and NSW Premier Chris Minns. Photo supplied

Yesterday saw newly elected Premier for NSW Chris Minns visit Lismore and local member Janelle Saffin call on the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) to feel the communities ‘sense of urgency’ in responding to the impacts of the devastating 2022 floods. 

Minns visit to Lismore was the second regional visit by the Premier since his election and Saffin said that, ‘It shows that the Minns is concerned about our area, concerned about our needs, concerned about our rebuild, our recovery, which is a long term project. It is good to have him here because we know that he is backing us for the long haul. Because it is a long journey for all of us.’

Lismore member Janelle Saffin. Photo supplied

Call for transparency from NRRC

Saffin was clear in her call for the need for the NRRC to improve communication with the community saying that they were now ‘off the hook’ from too much bureaucracy and red tape.

‘What I would like to see change is more transparency with what the NRRC is doing and [for them to] feel “our sense of urgency”. 

‘At the same time, we have to work with the community about expectations and give realistic timelines. I’d like to see that happen.

‘I would really appreciate it if the NRRC could lay out of their community of works over the next week or two. I know what they are, the Mayor knows what they are, but the community needs to know what they are. And I’ve said I hope that  they are now let off the hook so that they can now communicate without community because they were created for us.’

NSW Premier Chris Minns and Lismore member Janelle Saffin. Photo supplied

Long term support

Minns was clear to point out the ongoing support from the Labor government and highlight that where changes are needed they will be made. 

‘This visit has been an opportunity for the incoming government to send a message to the business, to say to the community and the Northern Rivers, they won’t be forgotten… that we are there for them for the long haul.’

‘We know the rebuilding effort is going to take many years. We know that capital and investment from the NSW Government and the Commonwealth government must continue to flow so that Lismore can rebuild. That we make sure promises made are promises kept. Even if those promises were made by a previous government of a different political persuasion.  

‘I have been so impressed with the political leadership in Lismore. Steve, Janelle, Federal representatives and senators – people who have put politics aside and have made representing the people a priority.

‘I’m here to listen, to make changes where we think there have been problems or deficiencies and to ensure that this community knows it is not going to be forgotten because there has been a change of government in NSW.

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg, Lismore member Janelle Saffin, and NSW Premier Chris Minns. Photo supplied

Time to deliver

‘I know there had been a delay in the run-up to Christmas. A lot of money, $1.6B was pledged, but there was a major delay in putting it out the door. 

‘For us, now the time for promises are over, we are moving into a delivery stage,’ said Minns.

‘The Reconstruction Authority has to identify land where people can relocate to and it has to be resilient and floodproof.

Mimms emphasised the importance of keeping the Lismore community together highlighting the importance of relocation as a community.  

‘We want to keep Lismore together. There is a real spirit that is evident in the Main Street of Lismore, a resilience and an optimism that you don’t find in other parts of NSW, Australia or the world and that particular characteristic has to be kept going. That means that when there is money being allocated for the relocation of housing that we keep that within the Lismore community.’

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