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Northern Rivers Local News

Bureau of Meteorology data shows La Niña drenching in 2022 as bushfire risk looms

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Bureau of Meteorology data shows La Niña drenching in 2022 as bushfire risk looms
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Bureau of Meteorology data shows La Niña drenching in 2022 as bushfire risk looms

The Bureau of Meteorology has published annual climate data and key statistics which show that 2022 was wetter and warmer than average for Australia overall, particularly for south east Australia where persistent heavy rain led to repeated and widespread flooding.
Following the La Niña drenching, emergency services and regional communities are gearing up for what could be a serious bushfire season, as high fuel loads couple with a potential return to El Niño conditions later this year.
The ongoing flood emergency in the Kimberley has been described as the worst ever seen in the state with communities cut off, homes inundated, and a significant loss of infrastructure across the region.
“Australians will remember 2022 as the year of the ‘great deluge’, when record-breaking rain and floods, supercharged by climate change, left a trail of devastation from Queensland down to Tasmania,” Professor Lesley Hughes, Climate Councillor and Professor Emerita, Macquarie University, said.
“The climate risk to Australians is likely to remain high over the coming summer, with more rain and flooding expected in saturated catchments, a high chance of more tropical cyclones, and warnings of a major Japanese Encephalitis outbreak that could affect up to 750,000 people.
“Australians are footing the multi-billion dollar damage bill from climate-fuelled worsening floods, bushfires, droughts, heatwaves, and storms while the coal, gas and oil companies fuelling climate destruction are raking in piles of cash and paying little to no income tax.
“There is nothing natural about these disasters. They are being unleashed on Australians by decades of reliance on fossil fuels. In Australia, these same companies are enjoying billions in public subsidies. It’s high time we end fossil fuel subsidies and use the savings to create a climate disaster fund so that we can help communities deal with the fallout of compounding and worsening disasters.”
Greg Mullins AO AFSM, former Commissioner of NSW Fire and Rescue and founder, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action, said: “There has been a large amount of regrowth in the forested areas hit by the Black Summer fires that will eventually die off and burn. Our bushfires are becoming far more frequent and severe. If we head into an El Niño pattern, and it gets hot and dry, anything could happen.
“We’re already seeing warnings for fires in Western Australia, and grassfires are already happening in parts of New South Wales and South Australia, so our fire season is already under way.
“Australia’s current disaster planning and management systems are struggling to keep up with escalating disaster threats fuelled by climate change.
“In recent years, we have seen emergency responders overwhelmed by the scale, speed, and severity of extreme weather events, like the 2022 floods and Black Summer bushfires. Long-term recovery operations are also more challenging because disasters are striking more frequently.
“We need to make our disaster management systems fit-for-purpose in the face of worsening climate disasters. Governments must invest in emergency services, better disaster management coordination, more accurate risk models, and community resilience programmes.”
David Karoly, Climate Councillor and former leader of the CSIRO Earth Systems and Climate Change Hub, said: “The continuing La Niña event has led to our wettest year across Australia since the previous multi-year La Niña over 2010 and 2011.
“Despite lower-than-average Australian temperatures since the record highs we saw in 2019 prior to this event, we’ve still seen them come in at 0.2C to 0.3C hotter than the previous La Niña events due to global warming. Not only that, the extreme rainfall and flooding that has swept through many parts of the country this year has been made worse by these warming temperatures.
“What we’ve got is a climate system on steroids. Climate change is amplifying extreme events – like the heavy rainfall causing the floods in NSW in 2022 and the heat waves and bushfires in the 2019 Black Summer – making them bigger, more frequent and more dangerous. We are at risk of seeing more weather records broken if we stay on this trajectory of warming.
“Ensuring that we avoid the worsening effects of climate change on our weather systems is paramount to protecting our communities. We need urgent, deep, emissions cuts this decade to limit any further warming. Every fraction of a degree counts. Every tonne of carbon dioxide emissions adds to global warming.”

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Northern Rivers Local News

Richmond Valley Council Secures $245,000 Funding for Flood-Resilient Housing Development

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Richmond Valley Council Secures $245,000 Funding for Flood-Resilient Housing Development

Richmond Valley Council has received a $245,000 grant from the NSW Government’s $100-million Resilient Lands Program, paving the way for the development of up to 1,500 flood-resilient homes at the Summerland Estate, just north of Casino. This funding will support crucial infrastructure investigations and technical reports essential for the planning and delivery of the project.
Identified in the Council’s Housing Strategy, the Summerland Estate’s location above the floodplain makes it ideal for constructing flood-resilient homes, which will bring significant benefits in terms of population growth, job creation, and economic development to the region.
This initiative follows recent announcements regarding the development of 400 lots in East Lismore, up to 50 new households in the Mount Pleasant Estate in Goonellabah, and funding for Byron Shire Council to complete strategic planning for the Saddle Road development at Brunswick Heads.
The Resilient Lands Program, in conjunction with the $700-million Resilient Homes Program, aims to accelerate the delivery of new land and housing options, providing flood-affected homeowners with safer relocation opportunities. Both programs are administered by the NSW Reconstruction Authority to aid in the recovery of communities across the Northern Rivers.
For more information, visit the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Official Statements:

Paul Scully, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces: “This development is a win-win for the community and the local council. It unlocks flood-resilient land, helping residents move off the floodplain, while also delivering on the promise of more homes for our growing population.”

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Jihad Dib, Minister for Emergency Services: “We are working with Richmond Valley Council as part of our commitment to addressing the long-term recovery needs of the community. This investment allows the council to conduct vital infrastructure investigations on land above the floodplain, providing more relocation and housing opportunities for those affected by the 2022 floods.”

Janelle Saffin, Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery: “Flood-affected communities across the Northern Rivers have been awaiting safer land and housing options. The strategic planning initiative by Richmond Valley Council, potentially developing up to 1,500 homes at Summerland Estate, offers real hope and opportunities, embodying the principle of equity in recovery.”

Cr Robert Mustow, Mayor of Richmond Valley: “It’s an exciting time in the Richmond Valley with plans for new jobs and housing on flood-free land, offered at more affordable prices compared to many areas across the Northern Rivers. This funding under the Resilient Lands Program will enable us to progress necessary infrastructure investigations, boosting confidence in government investment.”

Richie Williamson, Member for Clarence: “This funding is welcome news, offering flood-impacted individuals and families the option to relocate and build affordable homes on flood-free land. It provides certainty and confidence for the future. I commend Richmond Valley Council for their constructive collaboration with the NSW Government and the Reconstruction Authority.”
The Richmond Valley community, resilient in the face of multiple natural disasters, is set to take a leadership role in regional recovery, securing the necessary infrastructure investments to support housing and industrial growth, thereby contributing to alleviating the housing crisis across the Northern Rivers.

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Casino NSW News

Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

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Casino Showground Bookings Now Available

 

We are excited to announce that the recently revitalised Casino Showground and Racecourse precinct will commence accepting bookings starting from Monday, June 3rd.

With a generous funding injection of $12.8 million from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery Fund, alongside contributions from various sources including the NSW Showground Stimulus Program, Drought Communities Funding, Crown Lands, and Council, the total investment in this redevelopment has reached $14.4 million.

This newly enhanced facility boasts a range of features including a spacious undercover arena, an outdoor sand arena, turfed areas, covered stables, and a state-of-the-art racehorse stable complex capable of accommodating up to 80 horses. Additionally, new parking areas for cars, trucks, and floats have been added for the convenience of visitors.

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Of notable appeal is the newly constructed racehorse exercise area, which includes round yards, a horse walker, and a 50-metre equine pool. These amenities are expected to draw considerable interest from equestrian enthusiasts and event organizers alike. Furthermore, enhancements such as powered event camping areas have expanded the facility’s versatility, allowing for hosting a diverse range of events including country music festivals, car shows, trade exhibitions, and markets.

Despite the official opening ceremony held on April 20th to commemorate the acknowledgment of government funding, certain essential construction tasks remain pending due to unforeseen circumstances. These include the high-voltage power upgrade, completion of the equine training area, and fencing installations crucial for ensuring the safety of all facility users.

Unfortunately, adverse weather conditions in the Northern Rivers region have exacerbated delays, saturating many areas of the facility and rendering them unsuitable for immediate use. However, efforts are underway to expedite the finalisation of these outstanding projects in alignment with the originally tendered project costs.

In tandem with these developments, the Council is set to deliberate on its Draft Revenue Policy for 2024-2025 at its upcoming meeting. This policy will outline the proposed fees for utilising the facility and will undergo a public exhibition period of 28 days following the meeting, during which community feedback and submissions will be welcomed.

We extend our gratitude to all existing stakeholders and potential users for their patience throughout this project’s completion, which has been hampered by unforeseen challenges. We eagerly anticipate opening all elements of this facility to serve the broader community.

For those interested in booking the venue, please visit the Council’s venue hire website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Evans Head News

Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

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Serenitas Celebrates Grand Opening of Multi-Million Dollar Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort Evans Head

 

Serenitas, a leading provider of lifestyle communities and resorts for individuals over 50, proudly announces the grand opening of the state-of-the-art Clubhouse at Thyme Lifestyle Resort, Evans Head. The celebratory event saw enthusiastic homeowners joined by Mayor Robert Mustow and Serenitas CEO Rob Nichols, who officiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Nestled in the tranquil coastal enclave of Evans Head, the Clubhouse epitomises refined living and leisure. Located near the historic Evans Head Aerodrome and a short walk from pristine beaches, Thyme Evans Head offers an unparalleled blend of luxury and laid-back coastal charm.

Rob Nichols, CEO of Serenitas, expressed his excitement about the new facility: “We are thrilled to be opening the Thyme Evans Head Clubhouse, inviting residents and their guests to immerse themselves in the pinnacle of luxury living. With its striking architecture, ties to Evans Head’s aviation heritage, and a host of premium amenities, this opening heralds the next inspiring chapter for the resort’s homeowners and underscores Serenitas’ unwavering commitment to excellence.”

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The multi-million dollar Clubhouse features an array of exquisite facilities, including a fully equipped gym, heated swimming pool, health and beauty studio, luxurious cinema, sports bar complete with darts and pool table, croquet court, and more. A standout feature of the Clubhouse is the sophisticated Evans Lounge, providing homeowners a serene setting to enjoy views over the aerodrome by a cozy fireplace.

“The Clubhouse caters to every taste,” added Mr. Nichols. “From our active residents utilising the fitness facilities to our social groups making use of the Art & Craft Studio and other recreational spaces for gatherings and events.”

Demand for homes at Thyme Evans Head has been incredibly strong, with sales surpassing expectations since its inception. Located in the highly sought-after Northern Rivers district of NSW, Evans Head has emerged as a coveted community known for its relaxed coastal vibe and pristine waters.

“Our homes have garnered significant interest and are selling at an unprecedented pace,” remarked Rob Nichols. “With prices starting from $615,000, we are preparing to release our final homes for sale, reaffirming Evans Head’s status as a desirable destination for discerning homeowners.”

For more information about Thyme Evans Head, please visit here.

 

For more Evans Head news, click here.

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