The Lismore App
The Lismore App
Your local digital newspaper
The Lismore App

Just Street, Goonellabah announced as latest Resilient Lands location

The Lismore App

Simon Mumford

25 March 2024, 6:12 AM

Just Street, Goonellabah announced as latest Resilient Lands locationWedgetail Court, off Just Street in Goonellabah. The new location for the next Resilient Lands Program release.

"Today is a great day." Those were words from Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin and Mayor of Lismore Steve Krieg as they officially announced the latest location for the Resilient Lands Program in Goonellabah.

(Susie George NSWRA, Janelle Saffin and Steve Krieg at today's Resilient Lands Program announcement)

Mount Pleasant Estate on Wedgetail Court will be the new street for many flood-affected residents if they decide to take up the offer of relocating or building something new on the 50 blocks that will be available. Wedgetail Court comes off Just Street which is connected to Oliver Avenue in Goonellabah and is not far from the Goonellabah Shopping Centre.

On February 9, Premier Chris Minns, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully and Ms Saffin announced the first Resilient Lands Program location, Crawford Road, in East Lismore where 450 blocks will eventually be released to flood-affected residents and the general public with an allocation to affordable and social housing.

Unlike those blocks, which need some MOU (memorandum of understanding) red tape to sort through between the NSW Reconstruction Authority (NSWRA) and Southern Cross University, Wedgetail Court is already built and can house the first person by the end of the year or early 2025.

"It's further demonstration of our progress with the recovery. We know that we need housing, we know it's a big need in our area. We know that we lost housing due to the flood and the buybacks and gradually, we'll be able to replace that and hopefully build more," Ms Saffin told media this afternoon.

The design of the new housing estate is flexible depending on the number of buyback residents who wish to move to Goonellabah and what their financial situation is.

If more townhouse living is needed then the design will adapt to accommodate that need and if more stand-alone housing is needed then it will adapt to that requirement. Block sizes will vary but there will be some around the 400 sqm to make it more affordable.

Susie George from the NSW RA said, "We're really excited to be part of releasing these 50 blocks today here in Goonellabah. It's such a beautiful place to live and you can't help but walk down here and actually think about living here. It's got spaces as well for relocatable homes, so some of the flood flood-affected homes we hope might be part of this whole precinct as well as other blocks. We're really excited."

(From the back of the new Mount Pleasant Estate development looking towards Just Street, Goonellabah)

The relocation of a flood-affected house will depend on an individual's financial circumstances and the condition of their house. There are a lot of variables in each case.

For example, if a person has already renovated their house with a new kitchen and polished floorboards, this should cost between $100,000 and $150,000, depending on the size of the house. If a person has not renovated the house at all then relocation costs, including costs to make it liveable, could be $300,000. Depending on the cost of a block of land and if it is a flat or sloping block, this may make it unaffordable to relocate a person's old house and more affordable to build a new house on-site or take a more affordable townhouse option.

The Mount Pleasant Estate Resilient Lands Program will be a test case for house relocation, as NSWRA can get a real-life case study or two and be able to share that information with other people who are thinking about relocating their homes.

The Wedgetail Court site has been established for quite some time. The delay in today's announcement was due to the negotiations with the developer.

"To actually buy the properties, you have to work with the people who own it and that can take a while to negotiate as anyone who's ever bought anything knows, buying a house is hard enough. If you're buying a whole block of land in an area where you're going to house up to 50 dwellings then that just takes time. Argy bargy backward and forward," Ms Saffin explained.

There are some civil works that need to be completed on the new site and that should be done by mid this year. At the same time, construction of a house for a flood-affected person should begin at the same time.

Susie George said there was a list of people who have already expressed an interest in moving to the new estate and as of today that numbered over 100. So, it is looking likely that 100% of Mount Pleasant Estate will be flood-affected residents.

What of the established local residents on Just Steet and those on Dudley Street that back onto Wedgetail Court?

The NSWRA concierge team, led my Matt, has been door-knocking and talking to those who have been home. The response has been positive as people were aware of the development and the need for housing and receptive to the fact this will help flood-affected people and families. Housing density was the only area of concern.

Mayor Steve Krieg said, "2024 is the year of making things happen on the Northern Rivers and in particularly Lismore."

It certainly feels that progress is being made this year in the vital area of housing and that there is "more to come".

As a community, we wait for the next Resilient Lands Program announcement in the Lismore LGA and hope it is not far away.

As Janelle Saffin said today, "None of this is easy. It's the first time it's ever been done to this scale and it's not they're programs designed to fully compensate everybody and give the timeline that people need. So, it's a work-through process that we're doing. I call it a reparations program, it's not compensation. It's some money to help people make decisions about where they can go if they want to be off the so-called floodplain."

"Today is a great day."

The Lismore App
The Lismore App
Your local digital newspaper

Get it on the Apple StoreGet it on the Google Play Store