Friday, 28 July 2023
Media release

Millions more invested in Northern Rivers flood resilience

​Joint media release with the Hon Jihad Dib MP and the Hon Paul Scully MP

Raised bridges, widened flood channels, and improved drainage in the townships of Woodburn, Coraki and Lismore are among the latest projects funded under a $150 million program from the Albanese Government to improve the flood resilience of the Northern Rivers.

The next tranche of the Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program will deliver 20 new projects across the region, through a federal investment of $100 million. It follows the announcement of the first $50 million of projects in February.

These projects include:

  • Raising the level of two low set bridges at Tatham to improve access between Casino and Coraki during flood events.
  • Widening the Browns Creek flood channel at Lismore.
  • Improving town drains at Woodburn, ​​Coraki and Lismore to minimise damage to property and allow for quicker recovery following floods.
  • New and upgraded pump systems.
  • Town evacuation plans.
  • Reforestation and revegetation plans in theClarence, Richmond, Tweed and Brunswick Catchments, to provide nature-based flood mitigation.

A full list of projects is available.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said the full $150 million program in the Northern Rivers would help communities be more prepared for future disasters.

“We know the job is far from done when it comes to recovering from the multiple recent floods, and we continue to work with all levels of government to roll up our sleeves and fast-track work where possible. But while we’re recovering, we must also prepare for the future,” Minister Watt said.

“Australia is facing a future with more severe natural disasters, and the Albanese Government is committed to working with the Minns Government to invest in projects that will better prepare and inform local disaster response in the Northern Rivers.

“The majority of these new initiatives will improve community connectivity and economic resilience through transport infrastructure and evacuation route upgrades, and they complement the work we’re doing through other programs, like the Disaster Ready Fund which saw over $17 million invested in Northern Rivers projects in round one.”

New South Wales Minister for Emergency Services, Jihad Dib said disasters can’t be prevented entirely but the NSW Government is working to reduce the risk natural hazards pose to communities across the state to build resilience.

“The people of the Northern Rivers know all too well the devastating effects floods can have on lives, livelihoods and critical infrastructure,” Minister Dib said.

 “The Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program means we can support communities in the region as they prepare for disaster, with the aim of reducing loss of life, the load on our emergency services and the overall impact of natural hazards.”

New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully said as disasters become more frequent and intense, we need to do all we can to address this increasing threat to people, property, our economy and environment.

“Not only do we want communities and infrastructure to build back better after disasters, we’re actively working to reduce the impact of disasters in the first place,” Minister Scully said.

“The NSW Government is backing projects under Northern Rivers Recovery and Resilience Program which will empower communities to better prepare for, and recover from, disasters.”

Further information:

Last year the Albanese Government invested $11.4 million to commission CSIRO to undertake a rapid review and assessment phase, to identify and prioritise existing project proposals for disaster mitigation and preparedness in Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

Work is underway on the 16 projects announced in February under Tranche 1, with planning completed on some projects and construction beginning on others. A list of the first $50 million of projects is available. 

The 36 local projects funded under the initiative have been recommended by CSIRO following extensive community consultation and have been agreed by the Federal and NSW Governments.

Two projects in the latest tranche are subject to further detailed technical investigations and feasibility studies by the New South Wales Reconstruction Authority to progress to construction readiness.