ABOVE: Simon Draper was appointed chief executive of the NSW Reconstruction Authority in February.
By the end of this week the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation will be ‘folded’ into the NSW Reconstruction Authority.
Reconstruction Authority chief Simon Draper said the NRRC was hastily formed to respond to the flood disaster and the plan had always been to merge it into the larger Reconstruction Authority.
“We will work on a statewide basis,” Mr Draper said.
“Bringing the NRRC in will streamline the process.
“This is designed for long term recovery. We’re here for the long haul.”
The NRRC replaced the disbanded NSW Resilience in July last year.
The NSW Reconstruction Authority was set up in November.
The focus of the NSW Reconstruction Authority is the Resilient Homes Program.
Mr Draper said the funds are to buy back, raise or retrofit 2000 homes.
He claimed it had always been for 2000 homes total, not 2000 for each strand as the media have reported including IndyNR.com
But we in the media have said this because NRRC gave the numbers of 2000 buybacks, 2000 house-raisings and 2000 retrofits.
Today, Tuesday, June 27, the NRRC website is still reporting “buyback, retrofit or raising of over 6500 directly impacted residences”. See the screenshot below.
Mr Draper said 2000 buybacks would take $1.3billion and the authority does not have that money nor the promise of it from Commonwealth or State governments.
The Prime Minister Anthony Albanese released a statement on October 28 last year. Here is part of that statement:
“Around 2000 homeowners in flood-prone areas of the Northern Rivers of NSW will now be eligible to raise, repair, retrofit or have their home voluntarily bought back, as part of a new $800million program.
“The Northern Rivers Resilient Homes Fund package will also provide financial assistance of up to $100,000 for house raising or up to $50,000 for retrofitting for homeowners in areas where flood risk can be reduced by better building standards.”
So why are 6500 homes touted by the NRRC?
As residents are receiving calls from the NRRC about their eligibility, this news further confuses and compounds their struggle to rebuild and recover from the worst flood the Northern Rivers has ever experienced.