NSW flood victim living in caravan blasts government response

Victims of NSW’s devastating floods say they are “sick” of waiting for government action a day after the release of the state’s flood inquiry report, which made 28 recommendations on how similar disasters are handled in future.

Lismore resident Katie Davis lost her home in the March floods and is currently living in a caravan with her three children.

Davis told Today she wanted to relocate but locals were still being kept in the dark about how a buyback scheme would work.

Lismore resident Katie Davis is living in a caravan with her three children. (Nine/Today)

“If we were given the opportunity to leave, 100 percent, I would be out within a heartbeat,” she said.

“No way do I want to be stuck here again after what we went through in February. It was scary.”

Davis said everyone had been waiting months for details, but yesterday’s report did not bring them any closer to understanding what would happen with their homes.

“We haven’t really been given any solid information,” Davis said.

“They have just said we will adopt it, we don’t know when, we don’t know who is eligible. We are all sort of sitting, waiting.”

Images from the 9News chopper show houses inundated at Woodburn, near Ballina.
Images from the 9News chopper show houses inundated at Woodburn, near Ballina. (nine)

Davis said it was disheartening to see the disparities between the assistance flood victims had been given in Queensland compared to NSW.

“I think the NSW Government is a bit of a joke. If you compare what they have provided and promised or even said, compared to what Queensland has achieved, we are polar opposites.

“They went through the same flood that we went through. They have already got buybacks, their schemes are already in place.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet defended his government’s response to the floods on Today this morning, saying significant progress had been made towards the region’s recovery.

“We’ve got people in temporary accommodation. We’ve put $3.5 billion into that support,” he said.

“We’re seeing many businesses now start to reopen, but there’s a long journey ahead and it’s going to be a very difficult time.”

Lismore floods March 2022
The extent of the flooding across Lismore as seen from above at the beginning of March, 2022. (Mark Stehle)

The prime minister said the government would be working through the details of the buyback scheme.

By the end of August, the state government will open expressions of interest for landholders and will look at public land which may be available.

Kevin Hogan, the opposition spokesperson for Trade and Tourism said the process should have started months ago.

“After yesterday’s announcement by the state government, our community is no clearer on the details for voluntary land swaps, buy backs and house raising,” Mr Hogan said.

“The criteria should have already been set. Applications should already be getting processed.

“Queensland announced a buyback and house raising plan within weeks of the disaster. People are camping in their houses or in caravans, and they are still no clearer about the decisions they need to make.”

Devastating deluge impacts two states

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