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No State plan for emergency housing during disasters: Auditor General finds no systemic improvements since 2022 Northern Rivers floods

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024

22 February 2024 - The NSW Auditor General has today released their Flood Housing Response report along with 7 recommendations to reduce catastrophic housing crises as a result of natural disasters. Among the findings was evidence that; there was no plan for temporary housing at the time of the 2022 floods, the number of temporary dwellings did not meet forecast demand and that there was no long term plan for transitioning people out of temporary housing and into permanent housing.

The report also found that agencies have not formalised processes that were used during the 2022 floods and that there is no State-wide process to capture the knowledge gained by Government agencies that were involved in the disaster response.

Greens MP and North Coast spokesperson Sue Higginson said “This report will be cold comfort for North Coast residents and flood survivors that have felt for years that there was no plan in place for catastrophic natural disasters. The simple truth revealed by this report is, there was no plan,”

“Even more concerning, communities across NSW are still exposed to a Government network that is unprepared for future disasters and that has not captured or formalised lessons and policy changes that would provide greater security to at-risk communities,”

“People that have been moved into temporary housing in the Northern Rivers still have no pathway to permanent homes and the pods that they are living in are just a few days away from reaching the end of their design-life of 2 years,

“The treacle-slow actions of the Government since the initial emergency response mean that it could take another 6 months before a timeline to permanently house displaced people is even decided. The Government doesn’t even know how many people have been left homeless as a result of the under-delivery of temporary housing,”

“The Government must deliver on these recommendations, and they should do so urgently. Communities of the Northern Rivers, and particularly flood survivors, should not have to wait until late this year to have the bare minimum of delivery standards. More than that, if the Government has not learnt from their mistakes, communities at risk of other natural disasters are currently exposed to a repeat of the ongoing trauma that my community is still experiencing,” Ms Higginson said.

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Sue Higginson
NSW Greens MP
17 April 2024


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