Murray Watt says new laws are needed to stop building houses in flood and bushfire zones


Inland NSW is presently underwater with deadly flash flooding within the state’s Central West, whereas in Victoria, Geelong and Mornington Peninsula are on flood alert in addition to Murray River communities.

A house buyback scheme for as much as 2000 householders was collectively funded by the NSW and federal governments final month for victims of the Northern Rivers floods earlier this yr.

Emergency Management and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt.

Emergency Administration and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

The $800 million scheme will fund voluntary home purchases in addition to repairs of residences overwhelmed in report floods in February and March, which left greater than 4000 properties uninhabitable and broken a complete of 10,000 houses.

Watt informed Radio Nationwide on Thursday he was contemplating extra buyback schemes throughout the nation, however it might be higher for governments to relocate individuals.

“There are specific areas within the nation which are liable to repeated flooding and it usually finally ends up really being less expensive, not to mention avoiding the emotional heartbreak, if we are able to transfer a few of these individuals to larger floor,” he stated.


“I can definitely consider different areas of the nation the place these sorts of approaches could be wanted.”

Grantham in southeast Queensland is taken into account an exemplar of flood relocation. Governments supplied voluntary house buybacks and relocation to safer floor for the 600 residents following the 2011 floods that claimed 12 lives. Solely about 50 houses remained in place, which had been flooded once more in following years.

Watt stated there isn’t any doubt Australians are copping “longer, extra frequent and extra intense pure catastrophe seasons as a consequence of local weather change”.

On Wednesday, 200 Defence Drive personnel had been despatched to inland NSW to assist the state’s emergency companies clear up.


Watt stated he and Defence Minister Richard Marles had been engaged on plans to type a everlasting workforce devoted to helping state companies with pure disasters and hinted it may take form by the subsequent federal finances in Could subsequent yr.

The federal authorities has launched a $200 million annual fund to spend money on pure catastrophe mitigation, equivalent to flood levies, which Watt stated was wanted to decrease the price of insurance coverage premiums.

Many house owners within the NSW flood-prone city of Eugowra had been uninsured when floods hit this week, unable to afford charges of as much as $40,000 a yr. The federal authorities final yr bankrolled a $10 billion underwriting scheme in northern Australia, to assist decrease the price of premiums which were pushed up by elevated cyclone dangers.

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