NSW Government will increase support for flood affected communities
The NSW Government has established a new $150 million Community Restoration Flood Fund in the 2023-24 Budget to support disaster impacted communities in the Northern Rivers and Central West.
The new Community Restoration Flood Fund is an acknowledgement that the NSW Government is standing by communities for the long haul.
The 2022 floods exposed several ongoing risks across NSW due to the changing climate and long-standing land uses. The NSW Government recognises that recovery is not a short-term fix and requires evidence-based planning and community leadership.
While the former government made unfunded commitments to communities, the Minns Government will provide funding through the new Community Restoration Flood Fund and work with community leaders in its allocation.
The cash injection will be used towards measures such as:
- Priority Disaster Adaptation Plans, including for the Northern Rivers and Central West, so communities are better prepared
- Repair and replacement of critical community assets and improving the resilience of public infrastructure, including bridges and roads
- As a second instalment to the ongoing Resilient Homes Program in the Northern Rivers
- Further assistance with housing programs, with work to be further developed with councils and community leaders.
Over the next two months, the NSW Reconstruction Authority will work closely with local community leaders to prioritise the additional funding and determine potential future funding which may be required.
The new $150 million Community Restoration Flood Fund is in addition to the extra $121 million in funding (including $6 million in capital) to properly resource the NSW Reconstruction Authority and ensure NSW communities are better prepared for natural disasters and can recover faster.
The NSW Reconstruction Authority currently facilitates more than $6.8 billion in State and Commonwealth Grant programs offering support and practical help to those who need it most.
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more severe as we deal with the impacts of climate change.
Since 2019, NSW has seen more than 60 declared disasters, costing the State $5 billion, with 20,000 homes damaged in 2022 alone.
The financial cost of responding to natural disasters is only increasing with about 97 per cent of the funding for natural disasters spent after the event.
The Government is also delivering on its election commitments in the 2023-24 Budget for flood support and response programs including:
- $5 million in grant funding to Resilient Lismore and the Reece Foundation to support the Two Rooms Project to help flood survivors get back into their homes
- $3.3 million across three years to 2025-26 to invest in natural disaster detection systems
- $2 million across two years to 2024-25 in grant funding to Tweed Shire Council to fund urban flood resilience and mitigation projects, prioritised from the outcomes of the Murwillumbah Central Business District Drainage Study.
Since the March 2023 election, the NSW Government has provided an additional $2.3 billion over five years (including in 2022‑23) to support communities and improve natural disaster resilience.