Council critical of delay in flood map release and limited options for buybacks

ABOVE: NRRC chief executive David Witherdin at a community meeting in Woodburn in February. Photo: Susanna Freymark

If the maps released by the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation had been available earlier, it might have saved a lot of community concern and people could have moved on sooner, Richmond Valley Council general manager Vaughan Macdonald said.

He cautiously welcomed the release of new flood mapping and said the maps provide further clarity for flood-affected residents who have been waiting for answers.

The maps showed there was limited opportunity for people in the Richmond Valley to take advantage of the buyback scheme, as most activity was centred on Lismore, he said.

“This was disappointing, as it left Richmond Valley homeowners with fewer choices to rebuild.”

The NSW Government needs to find better solutions for people in Coraki, Woodburn, Broadwater and Rileys Hill, he said.

Mr Macdonald said the council supported the Resilient Lands Strategy’s identification of Fairy Hill as a suitable site for housing and would be working closely with NRRC to support the investigation of this land.

He said the council presented other options to the Resilient Lands team for affordable housing on local Crown land, and it was disappointing these were not included in the strategy.

“Council has been focussing on residential supply in and around Casino for some time now as this area can accommodate the main development demand on flood-free land over the next 20 years, allowing for more managed growth in our sensitive coastal and rural areas,” Mr Macdonald said.

The wait continues as buybacks halved and disappointment rises for flood-hit residents

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