Lismore Secures Historic Funding Agreement for $860 Million

Published on 29 March 2024

NSW Government agreement signing .jpg

Following tireless negotiations and persistent lobbying by Lismore City Council, a historic agreement to fund the rebuild of around one hundred of Lismore’s roads and bridges, devastated by the 2022 natural disaster, was finalised last week with the NSW Government.

The agreement not only signifies the governments confidence in the future of the city but also aims to streamline critical funding for transport infrastructure in the aftermath of natural disasters.

The record investment of $860 million provides certainty for the city and the community that the many projects, previously stuck in a holding pattern, can now progress to full investigation and design.

Brendan Logan, Council’s Chief Operating Officer, emphasised the magnitude of Council's work in securing this agreement as well as its implications for the city’s rebuild efforts.

“This is one of the largest asset restoration funding agreements in Australia’s history, and we are grateful it is now in place for our Roads and Bridges component of the Flood Restoration Portfolio,” he said.

“While initial costings for many projects have been determined, further assessment is necessary to understand the full scope of works.

“This funding means Council can now progress with this investigation and the design phase with certainty and at a steady pace.

“All going well, some of our most damaged sites, like Blue Knob Road, and Stoney Chute Road, are moving much closer to real restorative work commencing,” said Logan.

The tripartite agreement, involving Transport for NSW, the NSW Reconstruction Authority and Lismore City Council, establishes a new, expedited funding pathway for reconstruction efforts.

Previously, Council operated under a reimbursement model, completing work with its own funds and awaiting reimbursement from the government.

This new agreement ensures upfront funding availability, removing risks and barriers for Council.

“What executing this agreement does is lock in a cost estimate, which then provides working capital, which allows us to plan with confidence,” Logan said.

“We can lock in designs and start serious program development, and then begin the process of informing the community, our Council, and the market of what we will be delivering and when.”

The NSW State government has previously expressed its dedication to assisting flood-affected communities throughout the Northern Rivers region. This agreement solidifies and furthers that commitment. It is a significant leap forward for Lismore, inspiring renewed confidence in the city with solid government backing.

Not only does this historic agreement benefit Lismore’s rebuild but also sets a precedent for disaster response funding for all NSW Councils in the future.

Photo (L-R): CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority Simon Draper, Minister Paul Scully, Minister Jenny Aitchison, Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg, Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin, Lismore City Council General Manager Jon Gibbons, Minister Jihad Dib and Lismore City Council Chief Operating Officer Brendan Logan.


Tagged as: