Flood-impacted homeowners accept buy back offers

Published Sunday, 16 October, 2022 at 12:58 PM

Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure
The Honourable Dr Steven Miles

Thirty four flood-impacted homeowners in Ipswich and Brisbane have now accepted the government’s offer to buy back their home following the catastrophic Queensland floods of 2022.

To date, there have been 25 offers accepted within Ipswich City Council area and nine in Brisbane. The homes will be bought back thanks to the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund, a jointly funded initiative delivered through Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt said it was a great outcome for the homeowners involved.

“Every property we can buy back through this program is a win for disaster resilience in Queensland and another step in ensuring we are better prepared for the next flood,” Minister Watt said.

“These Queenslanders, once vulnerable, can now look towards a brighter future without fear of rising flood waters.

“They’re the first homeowners in Australia to be approved for this program and they can now get on with their lives after what has been a very challenging time.

“And this is just the start, with an additional 41 offers now made to eligible homeowners.”

“These numbers will continue to increase in the coming days and weeks as we continue to work hard to deliver this program efficiently and effectively.”

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Queensland Reconstruction Authority Steven Miles said the Queensland Government aims to have all properties identified for valuation by the end of the year.

“So many Queenslanders had their home ravaged by the floods earlier this year,” Mr Miles said.

“We can’t stop floods from occurring, but we can take steps to reduce their impact and that’s why we put together the largest home resilience program of its kind to ever be delivered in Australia.

“With $350 million allocated for our Voluntary Home Buy Back Program, we expect to be able to purchase roughly 500 homes.

“We’re implementing this process with eight councils: Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay, Gympie, Fraser Coast and Sunshine Coast.

“A huge amount of work has been carried out already with more than 210 properties identified within those council areas to participate in the buy back program.

“Almost 130 valuations have now been conducted, with more offers to come shortly.”

Federal Member for Oxley Milton Dick said the Resilient Homes Fund was a nation leading program.

“Our region has led the way responding to the 2022 floods that left such devastation across Ipswich and the South East,” he said.

“Funding has already been provided to Brisbane and Ipswich councils to carry out voluntary buy backs, with funds available to other councils where required.”

State Member for Bundamba Lance McCallum said he looked forward to seeing more members of his community accept offers.

“The Queensland Reconstruction Authority ‘s focus is on progressing more people through this program, allowing them to get into a new home,” Mr McCallum said.

“By doing so, we’re improving flood resilience in more Queensland communities.”

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said she was pleased that 25 Ipswich homeowners had now accepted offers for buy back, with more to follow in the coming months.

“Council will now start the process of conveyancing and preparing for settlement with some to be settled well before Christmas,” Mayor Harding said.  

“These houses will then be demolished in due course, with the land being re-zoned for non-habitable uses in accordance with Council’s obligations under the Resilient Homes Fund criteria.

“We can also report that a further 60 flood impacted homes in Ipswich have been identified to proceed to independent property valuations as part of the program.

“Valuations have now commenced for 60 houses across the suburbs of Basin Pocket, Bundamba, Churchill, East Ipswich, Goodna, Karalee, Moores Pocket, North Booval, North Ipswich, One Mile, Sadliers Crossing, Tivoli, West Ipswich and Wulkuraka,” she said.

The $741 million Resilient Homes Fund remains open for Queensland homeowners affected by the floods of 2022.

Three options are available to applicants: retrofitting to a more resilient standard, house raising, or in severe cases voluntary home buy back.

As at 12 October, there have been 5,133 registrations of interest in the Resilient Homes Fund, including 563 people registering a preference for the Voluntary Home Buy Back Program, 1419 for house-raising, and 1968 for resilient retrofitting.

The Queensland Reconstruction Authority is managing the Voluntary Home Buy Back Program, with Queensland’s Department of Energy and Public Works leading the house raising and retrofitting components of the Resilient Homes Fund.

Homeowners eligible for voluntary home buy back who owned their home at the time of the flood are offered two valuations – one pre-flood and one post-flood – and can accept the highest offer of the two. For more information about the Resilient Homes Fund visit qld.gov.au/resilienthomes

Media contacts:
Minister Watt: Brock Taylor 0499 779 387
Deputy Premier: Katharine Wright 0428 957 903