The long-term flood recovery in the Northern Rivers takes another step forward today with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) formally coming into effect.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said while there has already been a lot of work done to help flood-affected communities start the rebuilding, the NRRC’s goal was to accelerate the return to normal life.
“We have been working hard rebuilding community infrastructure and coordinating the delivery of innovative housing solutions,” Mr Toole said.
“The NRRC will continue this important work and ensure that we’re not only building back better for now but we’re building back better for generations well into the future.”
NRRC Chief Executive David Witherdin said the NRRC is working closely with Government agencies and key stakeholders to prioritise community needs and gather data and intel to map out and deliver a detailed rebuilding strategy.
“The NRRC is focused on building for long-term prosperity and will be guided by an advisory board, made up of experts, community leaders and local residents,” Mr Witherdin said.
“We’re looking at the data, principles and strategic design for a housing program that may include buyback, house raising, resilient rebuilding and the potential for land swaps, and we’re working to get this program running as soon as possible.
“We will prioritise evidence-based decisions that put the safety of communities first but will also consider community sentiment and will continue to listen to what they need.
“We’re working to get people back to their lives as soon as possible and this next step forward will allow the new corporation to compulsorily acquire or subdivide land, fast-track the building of new premises and accelerate the delivery of planning proposals through the Department of Planning and Environment.”
Nationals Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said since March, more than 40,000 applications have been received for flood support across the state and more than 30 funding packages have been approved.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting our Northern Rivers communities every step of the way through the ongoing flood recovery effort,” Ms Cooke said.
“We’re continuing to rollout more and more temporary housing, including caravans in Woodburn and pods in Wollongbar, while we rebuild important infrastructure and focus on the long-term well-being of the communities.”
The NSW and Australian Governments have committed more than $3.5 billion to help communities affected by the 2022 floods, including almost $300 million for the assessment of flood damaged properties and resumption of wastewater treatment.
The NSW Government has also established an independent flood inquiry to examine and report on the causes of, preparedness for, response to and recovery from the 2022 catastrophic flood event.
Professor Mary O’Kane AC and Michael Fuller APM have been engaged to lead the Inquiry.
The NRRC will assist in implementing the findings of this independent review and other government responses.
For more information about flood support, visit www.nsw.gov.au/floods