More Land Released To Support Northern Rivers’ Recovery

Construction and enabling works for land sites will commence by mid-2024. The Mount Pleasant Estate site will demonstrate the best use of mixed-housing types designed to integrate with the surrounding neighbourhood and natural features.

Mount Pleasant Estate is the second site to be identified under the RLP and follows the February 9 announcement of more than 400 new homes proposed at East Lismore, thanks to a partnership between the Reconstruction Authority (RA), Southern Cross University and Landcom.

The $100 million RLP aims to accelerate the delivery of new land and housing options, linking with the $700 million Resilient Homes Program (RHP) to give flood impacted homeowners a pathway to move off the floodplain and out of harm’s way.

It comes off the back of a community-focused reset of recovery efforts which is being informed by feedback from the Northern Rivers Community Leaders Forum as well as an extensive campaign door-knocking thousands of homes, carried out by the Reconstruction Authority.

This feedback has helped the RA to develop a more people-friendly, place-based approach to determine eligibility under the RHP, supporting our most vulnerable homeowners.

It will also achieve better outcomes – reducing the fragmented nature of buybacks in some locations, where single homes may be left in some streetscapes.

Recommendations from the Peer Review of the Resilient Homes Program’s flood mapping and methodology also influenced these enhanced eligibility requirements. The review was completed by a panel of experts.

The original methodology for the Resilient Homes Program prioritised home buybacks for homes at the greatest risk under most future flood scenarios.

While the independent review was generally supportive of the prioritisation approach used for the Resilient Homes Program, it made 25 recommendations relating to eligibility, prioritisation, and the implementation of the program.

The NSW Reconstruction Authority has accepted all the peer review recommendations, and they will also be used for continuous improvement of risk assessment methods used by the NSW Government. The full report detailing their findings can be found here. To prepare for future disasters the NSW Government has developed Australia’s first State Disaster Mitigation Plan (SDMP) to help mitigate natural hazards such as floods, bush fires, storms, cyclones and coastal inundation.

This work will also help inform a Disaster Adaption Plan for the Northern Rivers which is currently under development.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“Together, the Resilient Lands Program (RLP) and Resilient Homes Program (RHP) form the largest assisted relocation program in Australia to date.

“The RLP aims to accelerate the delivery of new land and housing to provide participants of the RHP with more options.

“At Mount Pleasant, purchasing dozens of adjacent lots in an existing development allows the Reconstruction Authority to purpose plan and build the community. The land is ready to go.”

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said:

“These important initiatives will help reduce the impacts of future flooding and build further resilience in the community. The announcement of a second land release site shows our ongoing commitment to the region and we will continue to help the Northern Rivers rebuild.

“The Reconstruction Authority will now reach out to Resilient Homes Program participants who have received a buyback offer to confirm their interest in purchasing land and housing made available under the Resilient Lands Program.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery, Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin said:

“It is great to see more land from the Resilient Lands Program come to Goonellabah.

“More land means more homes that are needed to support the community’s recovery.

“I look forward to more projects being announced in our neighbouring local government areas.”

Lismore Mayor Cr Steve Krieg said:

“This is a great announcement and another important step in the right direction for the recovery of our community.

“The partnership between the NSW Government and Lismore City Council continues to be strengthened, providing more housing and more security for our region.”

/Public Release. View in full here.