NSW Department of Planning and Environment

NSW Reconstruction Authority Bill passed

  • Date: 17.11.2022
  • Type: Ministerial Media Release
  • Author: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Legislation to establish a new authority responsible for overseeing the State's preparedness, resilience and recovery from natural disasters, has been passed by NSW Parliament today.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the passing of the historic Bill, will enable the NSW Reconstruction Authority to be set up with the powers needed to ensure communities can be better prepared for and recover more quickly from the impact of flooding, fires, droughts and more.

"As soon as I received the Independent Flood Inquiry from Professor Mary O'Kane and Mick Fuller, I knew that passing the legislating and establishing the Reconstruction Authority was vital to achieve this year," Mr Perrottet said.

"This is one of our last - but one of our most important - pieces of legislation this year. We have worked constructively with all members of parliament to achieve this outcome that ensures in the future, protecting communities and helping them rebuild is at the forefront of our Governments' response to natural disasters."

"Setting up the Authority means will be able to act quickly and decisively in helping affected residents get back on their feet – and one which can provide immediate on-the-ground support without getting caught up in unnecessary red tape."

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the Authority would be an advocate and ally for the people of regional NSW.

"Floods have damaged around 10,000 homes in northern NSW in recent times, with hundreds more homes, communities and businesses devastated in the central and far west," Mr Toole said.

The authority will draw on the experiences of the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation which is focused on Lismore and surrounds and ensure we have a state-wide body with the right powers to prevent and recover from the impact of natural disasters."

Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said one of the authority's first tasks will be to develop a new set of appropriate flood planning levels across the State.

"Targeting our planning responses to the local risks, rather than using a blanket approach, is our commitment to better align disaster management with strategic land use planning, and was a recommendation of the Independent Flood Inquiry," Mr Roberts said.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said establishing a Reconstruction Authority will help communities to be better prepared for natural disasters.

"While our emergency services organisations continue to lead the response to natural disasters, the new Reconstruction Authority will focus on the crucial tasks of long-term rebuilding and risk mitigation," Ms Cooke said.

The NSW Reconstruction Authority is the centre piece of the Government's response to the 2022 Independent Flood Inquiry, with the full response to be released in coming weeks.