RICHMOND Valley Council has welcomed today’s release of the Northern Rivers Resilient Lands Strategy, saying it aligns perfectly with its own plans to rebuild, renew and reimagine the Valley’s future.
The Resilient Lands Strategy has identified Fairy Hill as a flood-safe housing opportunity.
General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said over the past 18 months Council had been talking to members of the community about their concerns for the future, and housing and employment came out on top as key priorities.
Mr Macdonald said Richmond Valley was ready to take on a stronger role in the Northern Rivers and Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2024, Delivery Program, Urban Growth Management Strategy and Casino Place Plan provided the important balance between exploring new opportunities for growth and prosperity, and preserving the unique lifestyle, landscapes and local identify our community loved
He said the Community Strategic Plan set a pathway for steady, responsible growth, which would provide much-needed homes for local families, more jobs for young people and more services and facilities for our towns and villages.
“The Northern Rivers was in the grip of a housing crisis before the floods arrived,” Mr Macdonald said.
“In the years before the COVID pandemic, housing construction had slowed and rentals were already hard to find. Then came the great exodus from the cities, pushing housing prices higher and availability lower – and then the floods.
“The Northern Rivers is now facing one of its highest rates of homelessness, with the most vulnerable members of our community suffering the most.
“That is why we have been focussing on residential supply in and around Casino 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 Council would continue to work with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation and key stakeholders to encourage the provision of a wide range of dwelling types to meet the varied and changing needs of the community.
He said new low-medium density housing, affordable housing and housing for seniors would be a focus for delivery.
“There are many exciting initiatives ahead in the next 20 years as we finish the major works we’ve begun and open new opportunities for our Valley,” Mr Macdonald said.
“Our growth can also contribute to the region’s recovery by providing homes, jobs and a lifestyle so many already enjoy.”