Tomorrow is 12 months since Australia’s biggest natural disaster hit our community. Lismore was the epicentre, but the downriver towns of Broadwater, Woodburn, Coraki and Wardell were hit just as hard.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the progress of flood recovery is far too slow.
“It is 12 months now, too many people are not back in their homes or businesses. Our mental health journey is precarious as well,” Mr Hogan said.
“The buyback and land swaps program are going at a snail’s pace.”
“This means fewer people will take these options up. Some people are already selling their homes, which means they won’t qualify. Others are putting money back into fixing their homes, so will be less willing to take up the buyback offer.”
“This is why I believe the bigger issue is getting flood mitigation work right.”
“The CSIRO will report back major recommendations in 2024. Some early engineering solutions mentioned were large retention basins in the upper catchments – these are to hold water for a couple of day till the flood subsides. This could potentially take up to 2 metres off a flood.”
“Flood mitigation not only makes our at-risk homes safer, but the CBD, farms, our road network, industrial estates and villages. We need to feel and be safer, and flood mitigation work is crucial to this.”
“With a disaster on such a large scale, it will be an understandably long road to recovery. But this is not quick enough.”
“This is a multi-year journey we are on, but I am exceptionally optimistic about our future. There is still plenty of work to do, one day at a time.”