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North Lismore announced as new Resilient Lands site

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Simon Mumford

03 July 2024, 11:55 PM

North Lismore announced as new Resilient Lands siteArtist impression aerial view of the North Lismore Plateau development

The long-awaited and highly anticipated North Lismore Plateau Resilient Lands announcement is finally here with Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully, Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib in town with Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.

The North Lismore development will deliver around 85 home sites, which is lower than community expectations.

This follows previous announcements at East Lismore (400), Goonellabah (50), Brunswick Heads, Casino and Lennox Head, with more than 2,800 housing sites now in the planning pipeline across the Northern Rivers.

Lismore's share of the 2,800 housing sites is 535, with the Crawford Road site at East Lismore delivering approximately 400 blocks, Just Street in Goonellabah 50 and now North Lismore 85. As of 28 June, Lismore easily had the largest number of Buybacks approved, 559, with Tweed next at 158.

We can only hope this is not the last of the Resilient Land announcements for the Lismore LGA.

North Lismore will be master planned and developed in consultation with the community, taking into consideration the site’s environmental, biodiversity and cultural significance.

(North Lismore Plateau development Parkview artist impression)

As part of the supporting infrastructure program, to assist primary producers, up to 100 drains that support agricultural properties across the Northern Rivers are being repaired and cleaned out through the $5 million Northern Rivers Agricultural Drainage Reset Program.

Vegetation build-up presents a serious problem with large drains unable to channel water away from the land.

The program will drive long-term resilience and ensure farmers and communities are better equipped to withstand and recover from future floods. It is being delivered by the RA in partnership with Soil Conservation Service and in cooperation with local councils.

The recovery program is being informed by feedback from the community and the Northern Rivers Community Leaders Forum, which was established 12 months ago.

Between August 2023 and January 2024, the RA doorknocked more than 4880 homes across seven LGAs. Pop-up information offices continue to be an important conduit between the RA and the community, with more than 4,339 visitors as of late June.

These changes are expected to lead to better outcomes as the region moves into medium to long-term recovery phase from the 2022 floods.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said, “What we’re doing in the Northern Rivers is not a simple rebuilding exercise – we’re making significant long-term changes to where people live, how we plan for climate change and how we mitigate future disasters.

“As part of our commitment to disaster mitigation, there’s already been significant progress with the Resilient Homes Program, but there is still more to do.

“As of June 28, 788 buyback offers had been approved and 656 offers accepted, which represents an 83 per cent take-up rate.

“Today we’re announcing that North Lismore is the sixth site for more homes through the Resilient Lands Program and there are more to come.”

Minister for Emergency Services Jihad Dib said, “During our many visits to the area we have seen the community working together to maintain the unique identity of the region and the strong desire to build back better.

“We established the community leaders forum to guide decision-making and local engagement is informing projects supporting flood recovery efforts and making communities more resilient.

“Across the region a wide range of projects are underway including improvements to evacuation routes which will provide better access for emergency workers and supplies during disasters.”

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said, “As chair of the Community Leaders forum I am enormously pleased to see input from that group included in announcements like today.

“Feedback from the community has helped the NSW Reconstruction Authority to develop a more people-friendly, place-based approach to determine eligibility for key programs like the Resilient Homes Program. That is a good thing.

“Repeat visits by my parliamentary colleagues show the reset is progressing in the Northern Rivers and the NSW Government is in this recovery for the long haul.”

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg said, “I am pleased that the NSW Government agreed to Council’s call for a ‘reset’ a year or so ago and developed a more community centric approach that has seen the pace of our recovery pick up, although as we all know. We still have some way to go.

"I welcome the announcement on North Lismore that will allow disaster-affected families to build new houses or relocate their existing timber home. The commencement of the Raise and Retrofit program will also be very welcomed by the community.”

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