A $741 million fund will assist the government in 'building back better'
Following last year’s devastating floods, over 130 homes on Queensland’s flood plains will be bought and ‘built back better’ under the multi-million Resilient Homes fund. Fifty (50) more buyback offers are still in the works.
Queensland’s buyback program was launched in May after floods in February and March 2022 resulted in the loss of 13 lives and damage to more than 9,000 properties in the southeast state. Out of 180 offers made pursuant to the program, 131 Queensland homeowners accepted the buyback terms, which were made under the $741 million joint Resilient Homes fund of the state and federal governments.
“[The Resilient Homes fund ensures] that we don’t just build back after the disastrous floods of last year, but that we build back better, [and] that the homes that we put people back into are more flood-resilient,” Acting Premier Steven Miles said.
He added that the recently launched Queensland buyback program was the biggest of its kind in Australia’s history and had since evolved into one of the “most-progressed” in the country.
Some 2000 homes are still uninhabitable after flooding in southern Queensland as the state moves ahead with a repair and buyback scheme.#floods https://t.co/93Isu5VxWi— InQueensland (@InQldMedia) August 2, 2022
Miles said the state government would continue to offer to buy back properties under the program and that it would purchase around 500 in total.
While not all Queensland homeowners accepted the program’s buyback offers, Miles found nothing unusual in having a portion of property owners decline the terms of purchase.
“Like any property purchase, this takes time,” Miles was quoted as saying. “We need to settle on agreed prices, contracts, and settlement dates.”
Homes successfully bought back would generally be demolished and their land ownership transferred to the local government.
“And in most cases, that would allow [the bought back land] to be added to parklands and creek reserves,” Miles added.
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The initial buyback offers were made to flood-affected owners in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast, Gympie, Moreton Bay and Lockyer Valley local government areas, The West Australian reported.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said the buyback offers were aimed at Queensland areas most vulnerable to fast floodings – regardless of whether the properties were suitable for a buyback.
“We know that not every part of Queensland is going to be suitable for a home buyback, but there are some areas that flood so regularly that it is in homeowners’ interest – and frankly the taxpayers’ interests – to buy back those homes,” he said.
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An affected Rocklea resident told The West Australian that the home he had lived in for six years was left “uninhabitable” after the early 2022 floods. He was one of the Queensland homeowners who accepted a buyback offer and would be moving to Moorooka with his partner with the money.
“We have cherished the moments here and we always will, but we’re ready to move on and we’re looking forward to what the future holds for us,” Greaves told the news hub.
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