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Byron Shire
September 28, 2023

Greater control and equitable distribution needed after 2022 floods

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Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, Mandy Nolan, the Greens candidate for Richmond, and Duncan Dey, Byron Shire Green’s Councillor. Photo supplied

The need for community involvement and more money to be directed towards the flood recovery across the Northern Rivers was a key call from last Friday’s Northern Rivers flood conversation that took place at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore. 

With only 1,100 homes having been found eligible for buyback and 493 homes being prioritised for raising and retrofits out of nearly 7,000 applications for help under the Resilient Homes Program Mandy Nolan, the Greens candidate for Richmond, was joined by Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens added their voices to the communities call for greater control over the process and the need for equitable distribution of resources.

Nolan and Faruqi were in Mullumbimby yesterday calling on the Federal government to work with, and place pressure on, the state government to address the lack of funding and community control over the flood recovery. 

ROR (Reclaim Our Recovery) gathering last week. Photo supplied

‘A year and a half after the devastating floods, many members of our community remain without a home. The lack of proper funding from both the Federal and State governments for flood recovery in the Northern Rivers has left people stranded and in despair,’ said Ms Nolan.

‘Thousands have put their lives on hold, waiting for approval for buybacks, house raising, or retrofits, only to be met with rejection. Meanwhile, others receive substantial support. The flood recovery process has turned into a cruel game of lotto, leaving many feeling lost and forgotten.

‘Some people are still desperately waiting for buybacks while others have been offered buybacks they never wanted, the whole process has been a disaster that has eroded the trust of the community. 

‘Taking control of the recovery out of the hands of locals has created a process that is slowly tearing the fabric of the community apart. The community needs to be empowered in the flood recovery process because that will lead to the most effective and compassionate outcomes that will keep the community together,’ she said.

‘The Federal Government needs to step in, work with and put pressure on the State Government to not only fully fund the flood recovery but put the process back into the hands of the community to decide how they want that money to be spent.’

Should we live on floodplains and just expect regular flooding? Photo David Lowe

Action needed on climate change

At Friday’s meeting in Lismore locals said a  united front was needed for the Northern Rivers to address the challenges that the area had as a result of the 2022 floods. They called for greater transparency, more support for renters, putting the communit at the front of the response and addressing thte impact of climate chage. 

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, said ‘People have been left waiting for far too long. The Federal and State governments must work together, listen to the Northern Rivers community and get this bungled flood recovery back on track.

‘The most important thing the Albanese government can do to protect the Northern Rivers community, and this entire country, is to stop opening new coal and gas. 

‘Minister Plibersek’s track record has been abysmal. In greenlighting one climate bomb after another, she’s chosen to protect the interests of the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our safety and the planet’s survival,’ she said. 

‘Every new coal and gas project, including the Narrabri-Pilliga, Beetaloo and Barossa projects, is a ticking climate bomb ready to detonate and make the climate crisis worse.  

‘The science couldn’t be clearer & the urgency couldn’t be greater. The only obstacle to putting an end to new coal & gas, and getting us off this dangerous trajectory, is Labor.

‘The Environment Minister should wake up, listen to the science and stop fuelling climate catastrophes by ruling out any new coal and gas projects, otherwise we are destined to see more fires and floods.’

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  1. Don’t try to cause blackout in the rest of the country because of bad decision making by your people. If you don’t do your own research because you think big daddy government has your back, you will learn expensive, possibly deadly lessons.

  2. The taxpayers should have control over the spending of tax dollars, not people with vested interests.

    Especially fake Greens who bang on about mother earth and climate change, but live in floodplains and expect taxpayers to bail them out of the consequences of their hypocrisy

  3. As usual, a great photo of the Greens hierarchy; when Mandy Nolan writes these articles does she do so as an Echo columnist, a member of the Greens, or the candidate for the seat of Richmond at the next Federal election? If there is a political narrative in the article, One would think there should be a notification at the bottom?

  4. Well Echo, I’m really gobsmacked this time. In a “news report” (?) that is ostensibly about “last Friday’s Northern Rivers flood conversation that took place at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore” – illustrated with a ridiculously posed pic that says “Greens to the rescue – we have a leap to related/unrelated (?) mention of Mandy Nolan and Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens, being in Mullumbimby.

    The somewhat dubious segue provides a vehicle to opine that: “ The only obstacle to putting an end to new coal & gas, and getting us off this dangerous trajectory (presumably global warming) is Labor”. An unqualified statement the Echo is happy to quote.

    However, when I responded by quoting from a SMH report that outlined Labor’s rush to achieve 82% renewables before 2030 and the OBSTACLES to building enough renewable generation and storage projects and thousands of kilometres of new high-voltage transmission lines to connect far-flung renewable energy zones to major cities, the Echo chose to censor it.

    The same report was primarily about push for the Albanese government to abandon its 2030 clean energy target as David Littleproud and Peter Dutton attack the rollout of wind and solar across the country. After holding up a decade’s worth of transition efforts it might be considered that the re-election of the coalition might also be a bit of an OBSTACLE to reversing the trajectory.

    Tell me Echo, what is your problem with a bit of counterbalance? There weren’t even any swear words in my reply. What did you find so objectionable about it? Too much factual material citation?


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