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Richmond Valley News

After fire and flood, Richmond Valley puts produce on the map

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

After fire and flood, Richmond Valley puts produce on the map

PRODUCERS from the Richmond Valley and surrounds will stage a gourmet experience to put them squarely on the culinary map. The Richmond Valley Made Paddock-to-Plate Feast will be held under the stars in the gardens of Windara, Casino, on Friday 25 November.

Commissioned by Richmond Valley Council and delivered by agritourism and agribusiness specialists Regionality, the evening will showcase the region’s resilience, innovation, and quality. With its inception in the wake of the 2019 bushfires as part of the Australian Government’s Drought Communities Program, the event is now being staged just as floodwaters recede.

“This period has been incredibly challenging for farmers,” Regionality Managing Director Rose Wright said.

“This region’s producers faced drought and devastating fires, which led straight into a global pandemic, and then flooding. So many plans have changed, yet they’ve continued with quiet persistence.

“The paddock-to-plate event is a celebration of the incredible innovation of our region’s talented and determined producers.”

From a Whiporie-Lismore beef business to Richmond Valley pastured poultry producers, dryland rice farmers, olive and cheese producers, and flower farmers, the paddock-to-plate evening features some true gems of the region.

According to Richmond Valley Council’s Manager Community Connection Sharon Davidson, local producers have shown a dedication to adapting to challenges, and they know the importance of connecting with consumers.

“While visitors to the diverse NSW Northern Rivers region might first picture coastal hot-spots, the Richmond Valley has been the unsung agricultural powerhouse in our area for many years,” Ms Davidson said.

“It should be front-of-mind as a hub of quality, sustainable produce and agritourism.”

The Richmond Valley Made Paddock-to-Plate evening is a way the local community can show their support for our farming community, taste some incredible local food, and share in some of their stories.

“These producers have all weathered hardship … we have worked directly with Richmond Valley Pastures, for example, to support their shift to consumer-direct pasture-raised poultry after a massive shock to their business,” Ms Wright said.

“This event is about unassuming producers doing a wonderful job to build resilience and thrive, branching into branded and value-added produce and connecting with their consumers. It’s wonderful to have the chance to celebrate their amazing work.”

Don’t miss the Richmond Valley Made Paddock-to-Plate event.

Date: Friday 25 November, 6pm-9.30pm

Location: Windara Gardens, 235 Sextonville Road, Casino NSW 2470

Cost: $82.50 (inc GST) + booking fee

What’s included: A three-course, locally crafted menu will be served, while beverages will be available for purchase.

Scan the QR Code to book your seat at the table!

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Local News

A piece of history demolished

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Woodburn IGA
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

A piece of history demolished

 

By Samantha Elley

On the corner of River and Cedar Streets stands a building that has been part of the fabric of Woodburn for many years and always a general store of some type.

Most recently, up until the 2022 floods it was the local Woodburn IGA store.

Starting with pioneer, John Lang, who opened a small store on the southside of Woodburn, the Pedley Brothers took it over and replaced the old shop with a much larger store which opened in 1891.

It was two-storey and very light and airy. Haberdashery, groceries, men’s boots and general drapery were downstairs and furniture and bedding upstairs.

Oscar Schulstad took over in 1917 and it became the Excelsior Store.

A few older residents in Woodburn would remember the store being Redwoods, as well.

Woodburn IGA

The Excelsior Store as displayed on the wall of the current building

Redwoods store was badly damaged in the 1945 cyclone and it was around this time the building was replaced for one that was all brick.

Owners of the building since 2002, Neale and Tania Hundy hope that its demolition will be a step in the right direction, since it was badly damaged in the 2022 floods.

“We have mixed feelings about the whole thing,” Tania said.

“One, it’s sad to see it being demolished as we have had lots of memories of the building and the changes.

“The other, is the future and where we go from here.”

The demolition almost happened last year in November, but is now a sure thing and while it is sad for the Hundys to see their memories go, and also sad to see a piece of Woodburn history demolished, there is always hope.

“Hopefully, at least, it will be a step in the right direction,” said Tania.

The timeframe for a new Woodburn IGA store, however, is up in the air.

“Our insurance company is AIG and we are still fighting over the water inundation as we speak.”

 

For more Richmond Valley news, click here.

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Casino NSW News

1500 new home sites for Richmond Valley

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Members of parliament at the new Summerland Estate
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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

1500 new home sites for Richmond Valley

 

By Samantha Elley

Summerland Estate is the latest piece of land to be opened up as part of the NSW Government’s $100 million Resilient Lands Program.

Summerland Estate, located on the north side of Casino at Fairy Hill, the area has been identified as part of Richmond Valley Council’s Housing strategy as it sits well above the floodplain, allowing for flood-resilient homes to be constructed.

“Today, the announcement is ($245,000) to Richmond Valley Council to do some studies under the Resilient Lands package to open up, up to 1500 home sites at Fairy Hill,” said Clarence member, Richie Williamson, on the banks of the Richmond River at Woodburn last week.

“It is a significant injection of cash to allow the council to get to a position to apply for more funds.

“It is a further step in our flood recovery here in the Richmond and of course more broadly across the Northern Rivers.”

The Northern Rivers Times asked, as this announcement was made on the banks of the river at Woodburn, if there was land opening up for flood-affected residents closer to the riverside village.

“That’s something the council will work through,” Cr Williamson said.

“This land (at Fairy Hill) was identified some months ago…as one of the lands in the Richmond Valley Council area that is eligible for this funding.

“What I’m working for, for Woodburn is the Resilient Homes. I want to see houses raised and want to see homes retrofitted because it’s really important that communities like Woodburn are kept together.

“We have a critical mass, so schools continue to function and shops continue to function.

“It’s coming, I can tell you we are all working very hard, places like Woodburn, Broadwater to ensure that they get their fair share too.”

Members of parliament at the new Summerland Estate

From L to R: Parliamentary secretary for Disaster Recovery, Janelle Saffin, Richmond Valley Mayor, Robert Mustow, Member for Clarence, Richie Williamson and Reconstruction Authority’s CEO, Malcolm Lanyon. Photo: Trish Parker.

Reconstruction Authority’s CEO, Malcolm Lanyon, said flood-affected buyers will be prioritised to buy the new blocks of land at Fairy Hill as they come on the market.

“Under the Resilient Homes program, people that are in that program are actually prioritised for the Resilient Lands program,” he said.

There is, however, a question around the affordability of the blocks when they will be available.

Richmond Valley mayor, Robert Mustow said this was an exciting time for the Richmond Valley.

“With plans for new jobs and more houses on flood-free land and at more affordable prices compared to many areas across the Northern Rivers,” he said.

Member for Lismore and Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery, Janelle Saffin, said this funding was a vitally important next step towards delivering resilient homes for the community.

“It also demonstrates the NSW Government’s commitment to working with community leaders and supporting all parts of the Northern Rivers affected by the 2022 floods,” she said.

This Resilient Lands program announcement follows the recent ones of 400 lots in East Lismore and up to 50 new households in the Mount Pleasant Estate, Goonellabah.

As far as the Resilient Homes program goes, Mr Lanyon said over 100 assessments have been done for the house-raising and retrofit program so far.

“I can say there will be an announcement quite imminent on the start of that program, certainly within Woodburn,” he said.

 

For more Richmond Valley news, click here.

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Northern Rivers Local News

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

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

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.”

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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