ABOVE: A house in the floods in 2022. Photo: Paul Stanley-Jones
Federal MP Kevin Hogan isn’t holding back in his criticism of the State Government halving the number of buybacks of Northern Rivers flooded homes.
The decision to drastically cut the Northern Rivers homes buybacks was made even worse by an announcement that the Federal Government would be boosting buybacks in Queensland by an additional 300 homes, Mr Hogan said.
”We still have no answers on why the original 2058 homes identified for buyback in our region has been halved back to just 1091. Labor didn’t even have the decency to be upfront about the cutback, letting the news slip out via the release of barely legible maps from the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation.”
“There seems to be a disturbing pattern here, with Minister Watt earlier in the month announcing $250 million for flood warning systems, with Queensland getting priority on that as well.”
Premier Chris Minns was interviewed on ABC North Coast news today, Monday, June 19.
Mr Minns said fewer than 150 homeowners have so far accepted buyback offers, eight have received payments.
“The current funding needs to be used first,” Mr Minns said.
“Of the $700 million jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Commonwealth Government we have committed and only spent $9million of that.
“I’m more than willing to look at tranche 2 but I want to make sure we have spent tranche 1 first.”
So far 131 homeowners have accepted a buyback offer from Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation.
Mr Hogan said he shouldn’t have to remind the Prime Minister that he promised to govern for all Australians and that we are still trying to get back on our feet after the biggest disaster in Australia this century.