‘Standing neck deep in water’: Lismore residents stranded after five months of inaction

“When you’re talking about the size and scale of Lismore LGA alone, no council anywhere can afford to even partially fund that,” Krieg mentioned.

Blocks of privately owned land had been recognized on the outskirts of Lismore that may very well be used to completely rehome flood-affected residents, Krieg mentioned.

Steve Krieg on the streets of Lismore within the days after the flood.Credit:Elise Derwin

“There are people who have been sitting on some suitable land for a long time, saying that now is an opportunity to open that up,” Krieg mentioned.

The council mentioned in May that about 1000 houses would should be rebuilt off the floodplain, at a value of $400 million.

The problem with any buyback or land-swap scheme could be assembly demand, in accordance with Resilient Lismore, a grassroots group serving to with restoration.

“Lots of people are ready to go,” co-ordinator and Lismore metropolis councillor Elly Bird mentioned. “They’re just waiting to see what the government will deliver before they decide what they’ll do.

“We know Queensland moved very quickly with a program around buybacks and land swaps, and here we are, still waiting.

“We’d like to see that [independent inquiry] report. That’s our report, our submissions that we put in, and we want to see the results.”

Krieg additionally referred to as on the federal government to launch the report in its entirety, saying his group wanted certainty after 5 months in limbo.

“People have been holding off making big decisions about their homes and their businesses, waiting for this report.”


Labor state MP Janelle Saffin mentioned buy costs in a buyback scheme needed to be primarily based on pre-flood property valuations, a sentiment echoed by residents.

Schofield mentioned lots of the flood-affected components of Lismore had been low-socioeconomic areas and any buyback or land swap scheme had to make sure folks had sufficient cash to repay their money owed and begin once more.

”If you continue to need to pay your financial institution [exit] clause within the mortgage, purchase a chunk of land and construct, that will probably be out of attain for I’d say 90 per cent of individuals in North and South Lismore.”

She is again dwelling in two rooms of her residence, however with none partitions, and mentioned she and her neighbours had been pissed off ready for particulars on what assist could be coming their means.


“A week when you’re living like this is a very long time. It’s incredibly stressful. A lot of people are really anxious about their futures.”

She would ideally like to participate in a land swap and transfer her home along with her.

“A lot of us have beautiful old homes built 120 years ago and some of them are still in very good nick. And the community doesn’t necessarily want to separate from each other.

“If we had a magic wand, I think there’s a big percentage who would stay fairly close to where we are now, just out of the flood.”

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