Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan and Shadow Minister for Emergency Management, Senator Perin Davey, say Labor’s slowness on flood mitigation and support for the community are unacceptable.
“16 months ago I secured $150 million to go towards flood mitigation projects in the Northern Rivers.”, Mr Hogan said.
“This money was allocated out of the 2022/2023 financial year. Today is June 30, the end of the 2022/2023 financial year. $100 million of this is yet to be allocated!
“$50 million was allocated a few months ago but none of the work has started. This is completely unacceptable for a community that has gone through Australia’s largest ever natural disaster.
In regards to the Resilient Homes and Buyback program, Senator Davey was reminded this week at hearings for the Senate Select Committee on Australia’s Disaster Response that Anthony Albanese told the people of Lismore ‘no-one would be left behind’.
“What I heard this week is that a lot of people now not only feel left behind, but completely shut out,” she said.
“Over 6,000 expressions of interest were received and around 2,000 homes were identified as unsafe and eligible for a buyback but we now learn only 1,100 will get this. The fund needs to be topped up so all homes can be involved in the buyback program.”
“With hundreds sleeping rough in flood damaged homes this winter, desperately waiting for news of a possible buyback or re-fit for their homes, it’s painful to see how this is playing out, adding further pain and grief to people who’ve suffered enough.”
Mr Hogan said he was disappointed to learn that the Prime Minister visited the region this week, but avoided meeting with flood-affected residents as he made his way to lunch on the Gold Coast
“He hasn’t been here for eight months and can’t possibly understand the suffering that’s still occurring. The buybacks and associated measures are confusing, slow and traumatic.”