Lismore Mayor frustrated over flood report delay as media leaks show $3b recovery expense – Michmutters

Lismore Mayor frustrated over flood report delay as media leaks show $3b recovery expense

The Mayor of Lismore in northern NSW has urged the state government to release a flood inquiry report after hearing unconfirmed leaks from the media and nothing from the government.

The ABC understands the state government has received a $3 billion recovery cost estimate within the findings of a 700-page independent flood report it commissioned to investigate the preparation for, cause of and response to the crisis.

Other recommendations include offering buybacks and land swaps, the rebuilding of assets, and economic measures.

A man poses next to a fire place
Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg had both his home and business damaged in the February flood event.(ABC News: Bronwyn Herbert)

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg said he was frustrated the government had not publicly released the findings.

“I read the information in the paper today, but I’ve had no direct information from the government at all,” Mr Krieg said.

“It would be nice to get a bit of an update and a briefing. What people in Lismore really need now is hope and certainty, and at the moment we don’t have any of those.”

About 4,000 homes were damaged by flooding in February and March.

It is understood the government will seek funding from the Commonwealth to help with rebuilding and disaster proofing of communities.

A dilapidated house covered in mold and grime
A flood-hit house on Wotherspoon St in North Lismore. (Four Corners: Tajette O’Halloran)

The inquiry’s recommendations, led by NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer Mary O’Kane and former police commissioner Mick Fuller, were handed to Premier Dominic Perrottet a week ago.

The findings will likely lead to the disbanding of the disaster agency Resilience NSW, which was heavily criticized for its response to the floods in the Northern Rivers.

The ABC understands a proposal to dismantle Resilience NSW will now be presented to cabinet.

Resilience NSW commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, who led the government’s response to the Black Summer bushfires, has not yet commented on the report or his future employment.

The report is still under review by the government.


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