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Relief for flood impacted homes to come soon 

September 1, 2022
Flo Mitchell

Major floods struck the Northern Rivers in early 2022 with devastating outcomes. Lives were lost and thousands were left homeless. NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet initiated a Flood Inquiry in March 2022, with the Inquiry Report being completed in August. The Premier confirmed that the state would follow the outlined recommendations to the independent Flood Inquiry Report.

The report which focuses in improving flood preparation and response, included 28 recommendations - 6 of which are supported by the NSW government completely, with the remaining 22 "supported in principle" with further work required on implementation. 

Mr Perrottet confirmed that his administration will be initiating a buy-back and land swap scheme. Importantly they have said that compulsory acquisition of peoples’ homes will not occur, instead, it will be a voluntary scheme.

“This will be a targeted approach in relation to a buyback or a land swap scheme. We have committed to doing that as part of our response.” 

On 1 July 2022, a development organization called the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) came into effect. The NRRC will manage the rebuilding of these communities by coordinating planning, rebuilding, and construction work across multiple government agencies. It will also be responsible for the buy-back scheme and has issued a short but useful statement that indicates that the buy-back scheme will offer land to be bought from owners on the basis of “pre flood valuations”.   CEO David Witherdin stated that "there will be a process in place where independent valuers will come in, arrive at a value, and then there would be a negotiation process." We are delighted to hear this approach being taken as these flood-impacted homes would not have the same value under current compulsory acquisition laws and we look forward to seeing the details of the eligibility criteria soon. Stay tuned as we will update this blog as further details emerge.

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