Federal Nationals Member for Page Kevin Hogan and Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey, have called for a greater focus on engineering solutions to lower the height of future floods across the Northern Rivers.
Mr Hogan said after the 2022 flooding event he announced $150 million in funding that was intended to be spent on shovel-ready flood mitigation measures, ahead of an extensive CSIRO study to be released next year.
“The first stream of projects totalling $50 million has been announced. The remaining $100 million must focus on flood mitigation and engineering solutions as the funding was originally intended to be,” Mr Hogan said.
“Last week’s media reports that the cost of the region’s rebuild would be in excess of $8 billion, only reaffirm flood mitigation and engineering solutions must be the number one priority if we want to lower the height of future floods and keep our community safe.
“It is all good and well to be talking about resilience, and resilient communities and resilient housing, but our community needs to feel safe. Without flood mitigation and engineering solutions that reduce the height of future floods, our community will not feel safe.”
“We will not get insurance or finance to buy houses in parts of our region without flood mitigation,” Mr Hogan said.
Senator Davey said the CSIRO Northern Rivers Resilience Initiative currently underway will provide valuable scientifically-based information for priority flood resilience projects in the Northern Rivers region.
“We need to rely on hard data and science to drive mitigation initiatives that will help to future proof the region. CSIRO’s consultations with stakeholders is only the first part,” Senator Davey said.
“The hard work is yet to come in assessing the various hydrological modelling, climate models, historic river and water patterns, combinations of infrastructure and other options in future planning.
“This region has gone through a very long post flood period but we need to insure we can’t keep repeating history. The ongoing contribution of the community will be an essential element in deciding the future of the region.”