Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation.
The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) was established by the NSW Government to lead the long-term reconstruction of flood-impacted areas across the NSW Northern Rivers.
The NRRC leads and coordinates the recovery and reconstruction of housing, essential assets and infrastructure in 7 flood-impacted local government areas.
This is a long-term effort and transformative program of work focused on providing more sustainable outcomes for all Northern Rivers communities to remain safe and to better cope with natural disasters in the future.
The NRRC formally came into effect from 1 July 2022. It has been established under the Growths Centres (Development Corporations) Act 1974 as a not-for-profit corporation.
As a coordinating body, the NRRC is working with communities, councils, multiple government agencies and stakeholders to prioritise, sequence and enable the significant reconstruction and place-based adaptation effort across the region.
The work of the NRRC will be guided by the Advisory Board, which is made up of industry experts and community leaders, including 5 members local to the Northern Rivers.
The NRRC Advisory Board was selected by direct appointment to balance the right mix of skills, background, community representation and expertise in areas needed for the reconstruction of the Northern Rivers region.
NSW Cabinet approved the recommended board members, who have all undergone probity checks to ensure the best candidates are fit for the job.
The NRRC Advisory Board has held a series of meetings and members have undergone a thorough induction to the NRRC’s structure, remit, engagement and governance framework.
The members of the NRRC Advisory Board are:
- Ms Rebecca Fox, Chair, Secretary, Department Regional NSW
- Ms Sharon Cadwallader, Chair, Northern Rivers Joint Organisation
- Mr Michael Cassel, Secretary, Department of Planning and Environment, and Acting Chief Executive, NSW Reconstruction Authority
- Mr Peter Duncan, Commissioner and Deputy Chair, NSW Independent Planning Commission; former CEO of Roads and Maritime Services
- Mr Andrew Hall, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia
- Mr Darren Kershaw, Executive Chair, North Coast Aboriginal Development Alliance
- Ms Jane Laverty, Regional Manager, Business NSW
- Mr Michael Rayner, Hydrology expert, former General Manager Tweed Shire Council, Tweed community member.
The NRRC leads and coordinates reconstruction activities for essential assets, infrastructure and housing in the NSW Northern Rivers. This includes prioritising and sequencing projects, local authority liaison, land acquisition and building local industry capacity. The NRRC’s priorities are largely driven by the recommendations from the 2022 NSW Independent Flood Inquiry.
To get people back to their lives as soon as possible, the NRRC is delivering resilient housing measures, restoring and building the resilience of critical infrastructure, and driving economic recovery. It is also fast-tracking construction of new premises and accelerating the delivery of planning proposals through the Department of Planning and Environment.
The NRRC is working in and with the local government areas of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.
The NSW Northern Rivers region was the epicentre of the devastating February and March 2022 floods. The NRRC was established as a coordinating body and is best placed to prioritise and synchronise the significant reconstruction effort in the region.
No. The NRRC is a development corporation that currently sits within the Department of Regional NSW and reports to the Deputy Premier.
The NRRC’s Chief Executive is David Witherdin. David is an experienced and well-respected civil engineer and senior leader.
The NSW Reconstruction Authority was established in December 2022 to better prepare communities for natural disasters.
The NSW Government has established the NSW Reconstruction Authority as part of its response to the 2022 floods and in line with recommendations from the 2022 NSW Independent Flood Inquiry, which was led by Professor Mary O’Kane and Mick Fuller. The NSW Reconstruction Authority is dedicated to disaster prevention, preparedness, recovery and reconstruction across NSW.
The NSW Reconstruction Authority is a statutory corporation reporting to the Minister for Planning, the Hon Anthony Roberts MP, and the Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience, and Minister for Flood Recovery, the Hon Steph Cooke MP.
The NRRC will become part of the NSW Reconstruction Authority in 2023. Until then, the NRRC will continue to help rebuild communities within the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed local government areas.
The Resilient Homes Fund was announced on 28 October 2022. It has been developed by the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation to improve the resilience of homes in high-risk flood areas in the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed local government areas.
The $800 million committed to the Resilient Homes Fund is made up of two programs:
- The $700 million Resilient Homes Program is 50:50 co-funded by the Australian Government and NSW Government.
- The $100 million Resilient Land Program is fully funded by the NSW Government.
The Resilient Homes Program is providing financial assistance to homeowners to improve the flood resilience of residential properties in the Northern Rivers.
The Resilient Homes Program will offer eligible homeowners one of three available measures, based on expert property assessments, flood impact severity data, safety risks and potential future flood levels:
- Home buybacks – the homeowner receives a payment for the purchase of their house and land, or
- Home raising – Up to $100,000 is committed to elevate liveable areas above a property-specific flood level, or
- Home retrofit – Up to $50,000 is committed to retrofit and/or repair liveable areas to improve the resilience of these areas for future floods.
*For works above the $100,000 for home raising and $50,000 for home retrofit, the NRRC and the homeowner will need to co-contribute 50:50.
These investments are complemented by the Resilient Land Program.
Under the Resilient Homes Program, the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) is prioritising homes in highest flood-risk areas of the Northern Rivers and speaking with the most severely impacted homeowners first. The NRRC will keep the community updated as the program rolls out. Find out more at Resilient Homes Fund.
The Resilient Land Program will unlock more supply of suitable land for housing in the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Tweed local government areas.
The NSW Government opened the Resilient Land Program for Expressions of Interest on 31 August 2022. The information gathered through the Resilient Land Program Landholder Expression of Interest will be used to inform and enable the supply of land to deliver a range of housing options in the region, with the first shortlist of landholdings to be identified by March 2023. Shortlisted landholdings will then undergo detailed assessment to inform and enable the supply of land to deliver a range of housing options in the region.
Landholder Expressions of Interest close Wednesday, 1 February 2023.
The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation is consulting with local governments, state government agencies, the development and construction industries, and other stakeholders to identify pathways to increase housing supply in the Northern Rivers region as quickly as possible.
The NRRC team is based in Lismore but comprised of people from the Northern Rivers and regions. The NRRC team works across NSW Government agencies to leverage existing expertise and functions, not duplicate them. It is supported wherever possible by staff from within the Department of Regional NSW. Where recruitment to new roles is required, opportunities will be made available on the I work for NSW website.
The NRRC is a Chief Executive-governed development corporation with an Advisory Board providing advice to the Deputy Premier, Chief Executive and NRRC. Summaries from the Advisory Board meetings are published on the NRRC website.
The NRRC is working closely with all 7 Northern Rivers councils. The NRRC is engaging through a number of forums, including monthly Northern Rivers Joint Organisation General Manager meetings, to provide updates, gather information and seek input into activities and initiatives.
Each of the Northern Rivers councils sit on the NRRC’s Infrastructure Coordination Office (ICO) Working Group. The ICO’s role is to prioritise regional infrastructure needs across the Northern Rivers, looking at ways to manage supply constraints and capacity issues to ensure the timely delivery of infrastructure. The ICO Working Group meets fortnightly.
The NRRC works across government to ensure an efficient, effective and coordinated approach to reconstruction efforts in the Northern Rivers.
The NRRC is liaising with the Insurance Council of Australia and Australian Banking Association regarding insurance, re-insurance and under-insurance in the flood-affected communities of the Northern Rivers. Seeking innovative solutions to address the insurance issue is a key focus, involving a multi-faceted approach from a number of organisations.
The NRRC is coordinating and advocating to enable the delivery of infrastructure to support the reconstruction and long-term, resilient and sustainability of Northern Rivers communities. This will include new or upgraded roads, water, power, digital connectivity and social infrastructure. The NRRC is working with the relevant telecommunications authorities to develop an effective approach to upgrading telecommunications infrastructure to meet the needs of communities during a natural disaster.
Updates will be available on the NRRC website.
NRRC is working with Schools Infrastructure and independent schools regarding options for rebuilding schools. NRRC can facilitate identification of suitable rebuild sites if required and fast-track approval processes. Getting quick decisions about the future of schools is a priority.
The NRRC has specific annual reporting requirements as a NSW Government Corporation and corporate reporting requirements as part of the Department of Regional NSW. The NRRC provides weekly operational updates to the Deputy Premier’s Office.