Three projects for flood recovery will receive funding in relation to local disaster preparedness under the first round of the Commonwealth’s new Disaster Ready Fund. The almost $20 million in funding for the region should be available from 1 July.
‘The NSW Government successfully applied for three local projects for our region under and joint Commonwealth and State funding will provide a total of $19.8 million,’ said State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.
The successful projects covering the Northern Rivers are:
- Nature Based Solutions: Building Flood Resilience in Lismore Catchment. Works to reduce flood and erosion risks in the Lismore’s river catchment. Richmond Landcare received $5.67million for the project.
- Fire Country and People: Aboriginal Community Disaster Ready partnership. †The establishment of strategic partnerships with Aboriginal communities and organisation to reduce the risk and impact of disasters. Forestry Corporation received $2.95million for the project.
- Northern Rivers Disaster Adaptation project. A suite of research and development projects to enhance disaster planning, preparations and response capabilities. It will be run through the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Authority (NRCC) who received $11.19 million. Though one might question their ability to deliver considering the lack of buyback, retrofit and house raising options that have been made available to flood impacted communities in the Northern Rivers; their primary reason for existence.
‘It is important that local projects can get underway quickly, and I have been assured the funds will be provided as soon as possible from July 1. Projects must be completed within three years,’ said Ms Saffin.
Not enough say Nationals
However, Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan has slammed the Albanese Government for drastically cutting emergency management funding for Lismore and the Richmond Valley.
‘In the latest round of Disaster Ready funding released today, less than ten per cent of the $200 million forward budget has been allocated to our region, which is unfathomable given we are less than 18 months out from the worst natural disaster the country has seen in half a century,’ Mr Hogan said.
‘The Albanese Government seems to think everything’s hunky dory here now; we’re fully recovered. and we don’t have to worry about the potential risk of another flood.’
The first round of the Disaster Ready Fund was announced jointly by the Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt; The NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully and the NSW Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib.
‘I have brought all three Ministers to the Lismore electorate several times and I know they are committed to us being better prepared, less exposed and in the best possible position when disaster strikes,’ Ms Saffin said.
‘Minister Watt said that every dollar spent on disaster resilience and mitigation delivers a return on investment to governments and households nine times over.’
Information on the next round of the Disaster Ready Fund is available on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) website www.nema.gov.au.