New legislation has been introduced to parliament today for the establishment of a NSW Reconstruction Authority dedicated to natural disaster preparedness, recovery and reconstruction.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole says the Authority – a key recommendation of the independent Flood Inquiry – reflected the NSW government’s commitment “to learning from past challenges to make us stronger as a state,” and will protect lives and property.
The Authority will implement mitigation measures and improve the resilience and adaptation of communities moving forward. It will be responsible for developing a state disaster mitigation plan and guide councils to prepare adaptation plans, and ensure development needed to prevent or recover from a natural disaster can be delivered quickly.
“Modelled off the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, it will ensure NSW is as prepared as we can be to tackle disaster mitigation and recovery head on,” Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said.
The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation will continue rolling out an $800 million Resilient Homes Program before transitioning into the new Authority, which will be key to ensuring communities across NSW can better prepare for and recover more quickly from the impact of floods and other natural disasters, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
“We need to make sure communities across NSW are equipped to respond to natural disasters and that they have the support to get back on their feet,” he said.
The NSW government also announced today $12.8 million has been awarded to 13 projects, with initiatives ranging from capability building and community engagement to new data systems and technology.
Bushfire Building Council of Australia received more than $2 million for an energy efficiency and disaster resilience rating certification program aimed at enabling private investment in household disaster risk reduction.
NSW State Emergency Service received $2 million to integrate flood intelligence systems, GIS data, planning and visualisations.
Landcare NSW received $1.9 million to engage experts to better understand barriers to disaster resilience behaviour change in communities and deliver practical workshops.
NSW Department of Planning and Environment received $1.6 million for regional Adaptive Pathways Planning. It will run adaptive pathways planning workshops to embed disaster risk reduction for the Illawarra Shoalhaven, and guide planning across NSW.
It also received almost $1 million to assess coastal erosion, estuarine tidal inundation and impacts of storm surge and wave runup.
The Australian Red Cross received $500,000 for a project with young volunteers who will work with local governments, emergency services and communities to reduce disaster risk and improve community resilience.
Other recipients include Fire and Rescue NSW, Forestry Corporation of NSW and Local Land Services.