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2022 Floods

HEADLINE: FLOOD AFFECTED RESIDENTS SAY THEY’RE NOT WAITING TO BE RESCUED AGAIN

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HEADLINE: FLOOD AFFECTED RESIDENTS SAY THEY’RE NOT WAITING TO BE RESCUED AGAIN

By Sarah Waters

CHINDERAH residents Lyn Tupaea and Michelle Shaw have taken on the role of co-leaders for the Community-led Resilience Team (CRT) at Homestead Holiday Park.

Both ladies were impacted by the February 2022 Tweed floods and decided it was up to them to ensure their own safety.

Ms Tupaea has happily lived at Homestead Holiday Park next to the Tweed River on Chinderah Bay Drive for six years.

But after the 2022 flood, she was displaced for four months.

Her home was six houses back from the river’s edge, but when the river burst its banks, water went right through it and left it uninhabitable.

Initially she was re-located to the Kingscliff TAFE Evacuation Centre, but a few days later, she had to live between hotels and holiday accommodation until her home was repaired.

Because it was Easter and school holidays a lot of the accommodation had already been prebooked.

She often found herself scrambling to find somewhere to sleep for the night.

The accommodation, she was able to find and stay in during the four months, cost her $18,000.

As the same time, she was trying get her home clean and repaired so she could eventually return to it.

Both her cars were written off too.

Ms Tupaea said there were people who experienced far worse than her, but she certainly does not want to relive the experience again.

“We need to be prepared for next time,” Ms Tupaea said.

“Now we’ve joined the Community-led Resilience Team (CRT) we’re linked up to the SES and the rural fire brigade and if there’s a big amount of water coming down, they’ll notify us.

“In the floods last time we had no communications, they went down, and we were completely cut off.

“Now the Community-led Resilience Team people will be able to contact people at risk – contact people on oxygen and people who are in wheelchairs and get them out sooner.

“Last time it happened so quickly, and we weren’t prepared at all.

“We’ve all thought we can’t sit back and just wait for someone to come and save us.

“By having the portable radios (purchased by Australian Red Cross Emergency Service) it’s going to be a big help.”

Ms Tupaea said the Community-led Resilience Team was like a Neighbourhood Watch group and it has allowed residents to become involved and educate themselves on what to do in an emergency.

She said there had been a ‘big shift’ at the holiday park and everyone had put their hand up to help.

“We have identified skills we didn’t know we had before.

“The more we are able to help ourselves, the better it is for the future.”

Fellow resident and Community-led Resilience Team co-leader Michelle Shaw has lived at the Homestead Holiday Park for 11 years.

Ms Shaw said she had never seen the park flood before 2022.

“It went up over the barbeque, all the big, heavy (outdoor) chairs ended up in the river,” Ms Shaw said.

“The water went up to my second step, our sheds and storage shed were covered in mud.”

Ms Shaw said she got off relatively lightly compared to other residents at the holiday park.

But, when the flood water first came through the park, she was ‘very scared.’

“The one thing I did find traumatic was when we tried to get out – we got the notice late from the SES and the water was already coming up (to about knee height) and we couldn’t get out.

“Local volunteers in boats and jet skis came to get us out – before that I was panicking because we were trapped, we didn’t know what to do.”

Ms Shaw said the Community-led Resilience Team has allowed residents to formulate a plan for future evacuations.

2022 Floods

Greens back community demands for fully funded flood recovery, as two-year anniversary approaches

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Greens MPs backing community demands for fully funded flood recovery.

Greens back community demands for fully funded flood recovery, as two-year anniversary approaches

 

Greens representatives and local candidate joined a community meeting to seek additional funding for the Resilient Homes Program, a fully funded flood recovery grant, as thousands of flood survivors continue to go without buybacks, retrofits and raises nearly two years after the devastating floods of 2022.

The Greens MPs and candidate in attendance include:

  • Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina and NSW Greens Disaster Relief Spokesperson
  • Mandy Nolan, Greens candidate for Richmond
  • Sue Higginson MLC, NSW Greens North Coast Spokesperson, and
  • Amanda Cohn MLC, NSW Greens Emergency Services Spokesperson.

In December of last year, 38 community groups signed an open letter demanding $700m in additional funding for the Resilient Homes Program from state and federal Labor governments, as well as a clear timeline for delivery and better communication from the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Following the 2023 state election, Premier Chris Minns acknowledged that “$1.6 million was promised” to the Resilient Homes and Lands Programs. And yet, nearly two years on from the floods, an estimated three-quarters of flood survivors have been deemed ineligible for the Program due to a $700m shortfall in funding. Only 8% of applicants have been declared eligible in Byron Shire.

Despite Premier Minns promising to seek further funds from the federal Labor government, local Labor MP Justine Elliot maintains the state government has not requested further funding.

The Greens are calling for state and federal governments to announce the promised $700 million in funding for buybacks, retrofits and raises before the two-year flood anniversary on February 28th.

Quotes attributable to Tamara Smith, Member for Ballina. 

“Why is it that our community has to do the heavy lifting again and again when it comes to demanding the flood recovery we were promised and that has still not been delivered?”

“In the two years since the catastrophic flood events there have been less than 10 families in my electorate supported by the Resilient Homes program!”

“I’m in awe of the resilience of our community and their determination to stand up for the support they deserve and I’ve got their back 100%.”

“We will not stop standing up on this issue. Just last week, I questioned the Premier on this funding shortfall and I will keep the pressure up alongside our incredible community.”

Greens MPs backing community demands for fully funded flood recovery.

Quotes attributable to Mandy Nolan, Greens candidate for Richmond. 

“It was incredible to sit with the flood-affected community today and work together to find the best way to hold our governments to account and get a fully funded flood recovery for our region,” said Mandy.

“In just a couple of weeks, it will have been 2 years since the floods, 2 years since those whose homes were flooded were promised financial support to recover. Thousands of those people are still waiting.

“We’ve got state and federal Labor governments that could fix the funding shortfall in a heartbeat but they simply refuse. The biggest takeaway from today was that we need to keep putting pressure on the government to provide the funding we were promised.

“The Greens stand behind the community’s demands for the State and Federal Government to jointly fund the resilient homes program so that all 6,000 applicants receive support.

“Our federal Member for Richmond needs to join the calls of our community and demand the State Government act to fully fund our recovery instead of passing the buck.

Quotes attributable to, Sue Higginson, Greens NSW MP, 

“The NSW Labor Government has failed to deliver on their commitments to fully support flood-impacted residents in the Northern Rivers.”

“Here in the Northern Rivers we have been through hell, and making things worse is the continued failure of the Government to facilitate and fund the community-led recovery we need and have been demanding.”

“Climate impacted communities are being failed by both sides of politics, with Labor and the Nationals more interested in giving billions to fossil fuel interests while drip feeding funds for disaster recovery.”

“We need a radical shift in focus from the Government, who are insistent on top-down approaches which are focussed on quick fixes and continuing to allow development in high-risk areas, to putting communities, safety and the environment first.”

“Climate change is here, it is not going to go away, and disasters will become more intense and more frequent. The Government needs to work with our communities to get this right, for all of our sakes.”

Quotes attributable to Amanda Cohn, Greens NSW MP.

“The Northern Rivers region is a model for the strength of community-led disaster recovery and resilience. It’s past time for the state and federal government to get behind this approach which will benefit many more disaster-impacted communities in future”.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

GRANT FOR MURWILLUMBAH COMMUNITY FLOOD PREPAREDNESS

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Janelle Saffin MP (centre) with (from left) Kerry Pritchard, Murwillumbah Core President, and committee members Jennifer Booth, Sarra Robertson and Kath Nolan.

GRANT FOR MURWILLUMBAH COMMUNITY FLOOD PREPAREDNESS

 

The Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin has announced $40,000 for Murwillumbah Core towards programs to help communities respond to future disasters.

The grant is part of the NSW Government’s Local Small Commitments Allocation Program.

Ms Saffin said Murwillumbah Core, part of the Hub 2484 project, is a deserving recipient, having grown out of the volunteers who worked so effectively to support communities during the 2022 floods and since then.

“During the 2022 natural disaster all around our region local volunteers ran flood recovery hubs on the fly, without training or funding, doing what needed to be done to keep people safe and fed and informed about the situation.

“The volunteers from Murwillumbah Core did that work, and it is wonderful to see this dedicated group being funded to be better prepared for any future disaster.

Janelle Saffin MP (centre) with (from left) Kerry Pritchard, Murwillumbah Core President, and committee members Jennifer Booth, Sarra Robertson and Kath Nolan.

Janelle Saffin MP (centre) with (from left) Kerry Pritchard, Murwillumbah Core President, and committee members Jennifer Booth, Sarra Robertson and Kath Nolan.

“The funding will enable Murwillumbah Core to identify and train local leaders in flood impacted areas, to set up registers of residents needing assistance, have clear avenues of communications and understand the risks.

“I congratulate coordinator Kerry Pritchard and all involved in Murwillumbah Core for the work they have done for their community and their ongoing commitment to finding effective ways to help the community be better prepared.

“This is a great example of how Local Small Commitments Allocation Program can support grass-roots projects that will have a significant impact.

For further information on the Local Small Commitments Allocation Program visit here.

 

For more Murwillumbah News, click here.

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2022 Floods

NEW DATA SHOWS HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS AMONG THE NSW LOCATIONS MOST IMPACTED BY FLOODING

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HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS AMONG THE NSW LOCATIONS MOST IMPACTED BY FLOODING

NEW DATA SHOWS HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS AMONG THE NSW LOCATIONS MOST IMPACTED BY FLOODING

 

Inland towns and tourist hotspots feature highly on the list of the top 20 New South Wales suburbs affected by flooding now, and in the future, according to new data.

Rural Narrabri in the State’s Northwest, comes in at number one for current flooding risk and is also number one on the list of Top 20 NSW suburbs affected by flooding in 30 years, according to data from Groundsure ClimateIndex™ reports, available through InfoTrack.

Rounding out the top five are Northern New South Wales’ Moree at number two, the Central West’s Forbes at number three, Walgett in the State’s North at number four, and the Riverina’s Moama at five.

Popular tourist locations also feature – the beautiful coastal town of Yamba, a mecca with holidaymakers, is named at number eight, Grafton in the Northern Rivers comes in at number 13, with bustling Port Macquarie, on the mid north coast, at number 15. The Central Western town of Dubbo sneaks in at number 20 on the list.

Groundsure CEO Dan Montagnani said sophisticated data and modelling is used to assess flood risk now and in the future.

“The data and models use high-resolution topographical data, detailed land cover information, and advanced weather models to accurately simulate flood depths and extents,” Mr Montagnani said.

“This comprehensive evaluation, provided by Royal HaskoningDHV’s division Twinn, encompasses various scenarios, including surface water, river, and tidal flooding, and integrates state-of-the-art climate models to provide flood risk assessments in the context of climate change.”

Yamba HOLIDAY HOTSPOTS AMONG THE NSW LOCATIONS MOST IMPACTED BY FLOODING

Yamba most flood affected

Interestingly, all the suburbs listed as most at risk now, remain the most at-risk decades from now.

Grafton is slightly more at risk of flooding in the future, going from 13 on the list of suburbs affected by flooding now, to 12 on the list of suburbs most impacted in 30 years, effectively swapping places with Condobolin.

“The minimal variation between current and future flooding impact rankings can be attributed to the inherent nature of flood risk, which is primarily governed by topography. There is very little addition of new high-risk areas,” Mr Montagnani said.

Homebuyers are encouraged to take advantage of the ClimateIndex™ reports which are a new tool, available only to prospective buyers in New South Wales, which analyses data not only on flooding but also bushfires and coastal erosion.

InfoTrack Global Head of Property John Ahern said the Groundsure reports are unique in that they provide property-specific assessments for individual residences, instead of broad regional ratings.

“The reports allow property lawyers and conveyancers to better inform their buyers and that’s more important than ever with flooding an ongoing risk for many regional locations in Australia,” Mr Ahern said.

The list of suburbs worst affected by flooding is tabled below. Prospective homebuyers can search a property address via InfoTrackGO to purchase a Groundsure ClimateIndex™ for that residence.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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