Today’s announcement by the Federal Government on the next tranche of the Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program funding has failed to live up to the program’s original intent of flood mitigation, according to Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey.
“I appreciate the Government’s dedication to improving flood resilience but I am concerned the projects announced today have forgotten about the need for mitigation in the region,” Senator Davey said.
“The purpose of flood mitigation is to ensure that future flood events result in lower water levels, reducing the risk and extent of flooding.”
The former Liberal and National Government made $150 million available in the 2022-23 financial year specifically for flood mitigation works which has enabled the announcement of 20 new projects.
The projects include raising the level of two bridges in Tatham, widening the Browns Creek flood channel, and improving town drains in Woodburn, Coraki, and Lismore. Additional projects focus on new and upgraded pump systems, town evacuation plans, and reforestation plans across the region.
“All good resilience projects which will possibly ensure better recovery after the next flood, but none of them will reduce the level of flood or the immediate impact,” Senator Davey said.
“This is a significant missed opportunity for the Northern Rivers community, and goes to show the lack of on the ground consultation when implementing this program.
“As we face the growing challenges of severe weather events and flooding, we must not forget that the primary focus of this funding should be to lessen the impact of future floods.
“True mitigation projects could dramatically improve the future liveability of the area, reducing the risk of floods and the damage they cause,” Senator Davey said.