Limited options in buy-back scheme for Richmond Valley residents

RICHMOND Valley Council has cautiously welcomed the release of new flood mapping by the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC), saying the maps provide further clarity for flood-affected residents who have been waiting for answers.

Council’s General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said if the maps had been available earlier, it might have saved a lot of community concern, and people could have moved on sooner.

Mr Macdonald said the maps showed there was limited opportunity for people in the Richmond Valley to take advantage of the buy-back scheme, as most activity was centred on Lismore.

He said this was disappointing, as it left Richmond Valley homeowners with fewer choices to rebuild.

“The NSW Government needs to find better solutions for people in Coraki, Woodburn, Broadwater and Rileys Hill,” Mr Macdonald said.

“Council will continue to work with the Government to find solutions for our communities.”

Mr Macdonald said Council supported the Resilient Lands Strategy’s identification of Fairy Hill as a suitable site for housing and would be working closely with NRRC to support the investigation of this land.

He said Council presented further options to the Resilient Lands team for affordable housing on local Crown land, and it was disappointing these were not included in the strategy.

“Council has been focussing on residential supply in and around Casino for some time now as this area can accommodate the main development demand on flood-free land over the next 20 years, allowing for more managed growth in our sensitive coastal and rural areas,” Mr Macdonald said.

“We will continue our discussions with NRRC and other government agencies to make sure all suitable housing options are on the table as our growth can also contribute to the region’s recovery by providing homes, jobs and a lifestyle so many already enjoy.”

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