Residents of flood effected Goodna say the buy-back scheme is taking too long, Reconstruction Authority says they will not be rushed – Michmutters

Residents of flood effected Goodna say the buy-back scheme is taking too long, Reconstruction Authority says they will not be rushed

The owner of flood-ravaged properties south-west of Brisbane says he remains in an “awkward position” as he waits to hear whether his houses will be bought back by the government.

Flood-affected home owners in eastern parts of Goodna are being given “initial priority” for voluntary home buy-backs, with 31 owners having confirmed their interest so far.

More than five months after the February flood disaster, authorities say 4,259 people across the state have registered their interest to have their homes raised, rebuilt or voluntarily bought back under the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund.

It includes 443 home owners for voluntary buy-back, with 70 per cent of them living in Ipswich and Brisbane.

Eighteen home owners have been identified in the first tranche of the Brisbane buy-back scheme.

The state government said Goodna east has been given “initial priority” because of the extent of the disaster impact and flood risk, with valuations in Ipswich to start in mid-August.

Rubbish stacked on either side of Enid Street.
Enid Street in Goodna was devastated by flooding in February and March.(Supplied)

Resident Johann Koorts applied to be part of the buy-back scheme for the two homes he and his wife own on Enid Street today.

“We are not fixing it. We have no money to fix it,” he said.

“We could have started a month after the floods if we [had] confirmation from the government on what they were going to do.

“I’m not sure if I should be doing anything [to the house]because it is not used — the other people in the neighborhood advise, ‘You’re wasting your time and your money if you fix it’.

“It is a very awkward position to be in now.”

‘We are not going to rush’

Brendan Moon, the chief executive officer of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, said the buy-back scheme was a voluntary process and would take time.

“It relies on an independent valuation of the property to take place and that home owner agreeing to valuation of that property before they sell their house,” he said.

“This is a big decision for people so we are not going to rush this.”

Of the more than 8,000 properties impacted in the southern Queensland flooding, approximately two-thirds have either been repaired or works were underway, Mr Moon said.

Another 2,000 properties are still uninhabitable at this point in time.

“This will be a long road,” Mr Moon said.

Flooded buildings in a street in Goodna.
Queen Street in Goodna flooded severely in February.(ABC NewsAlice Pavlovic)

A key driver for work to begin was the progress of the home surveys, which tells authorities “where floodwaters have been and where they may go into the future”, he said.

“Right now we have over 3,000 underway surveys.

“This tells us the best option for those particular home owners … and will drive the outcome for those home owners.”

He said home owners should not wait for funds to be available to conduct repairs.

There are still about 600 home owners who were unsure of their next steps and “our approach now is very much supporting them getting them to the right decision.”

Asked about wider construction challenges and material shortages, Mr Moon said “these are considerations we’ve taken into account in the design of this program”.

“I think when we start to get an understanding of what the scope of works and costs associated with those works look like, I think we’ll be in a better position to make a call on those,” he said.

‘Gap’ in creek system knowledge

It comes as State Recovery Coordinator Major General Jake Ellwood delivered his report into the south-east Queensland floods detailing the recovery plan going forward.

Major General Jake Ellwood speaking at a press conference.
Major General Jake Ellwood says there was a “gap” in knowledge about south-east Queensland’s creek systems.(ABC News: Scott Kyle)

He said from visiting different communities it was clear to him “there was a feeling that there could have been more warning”.

“In some areas they felt there were gauges required, in other areas they felt the gauges might be older,” he said.

“The thing is, we have an opportunity now with technology to actually improve what we have so that we get a better picture.


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