26 September 2023

Inquiry appointed to delve into flood disaster

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An independent inquiry into the recent catastrophic flooding in northern NSW has been set up.

Acting Premier, Paul Toole said former Chief Scientist & Engineer for NSW, Mary O’Kane and former Commissioner of the NSW Police Force, Michael Fuller had been engaged to lead the Inquiry.

“The Inquiry will sit alongside our flood recovery efforts and we’ll continue to put everything we can into ensuring we get impacted people and communities back on their feet as quickly as possible,” Mr Toole said.

“The reviewers will travel to and consult directly with affected communities, and details of public consultation and submission-making opportunities will be published soon.”

He said the Inquiry would report on the causes of, and factors contributing to, the frequency, intensity, timing and location of floods; the preparation and planning for floods; responses to floods; the transition from incident response to recovery; and recovery, including housing, clean-up, financial support, community engagement and longer-term community rebuilding.

He said that if warranted, the Inquiry would also make recommendations on the safety of emergency services and community first responders; current and future land use planning and management, as well as building standards in flood-prone locations; appropriate action to adapt to future flood risks to communities and their surrounds; and coordination and collaboration between all levels of Government.

Mr Toole said the Inquiry was required to report to the Premier on causation, land use planning and management and related matters by 30 June, and on all other matters by 30 September 2022.

The terms of reference for the Inquiry can be accessed at this PS News link.

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