Queensland buyback: demolition work starts on flood-hit homes

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The Queensland Government says demolition has started on several flood-affected homes that were among the first properties acquired under the Commonwealth-backed $741 million Resilient Homes Fund program.

Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt says the demolition of the homes in Goodna represents a significant step in the community’s recovery from 2021 and 2022 floods.

“Last year was a challenging one for many Queenslanders who were impacted by the events of the 2021-22 disaster season,” Mr Watt said in a statement today.

“The Resilient Homes Fund was established to make homes impacted by flooding more resilient, or by removing some Queenslanders from harm’s way.”

He says flood-affected properties bought back under the program will no longer be available for residential or commercial use.

“This will ensure that no residents will suffer from future flooding of these blocks,” he said.

The initiative is delivered through Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and was established in May last year following the catastrophic 2021-22 rainfall and flooding events.

It offers eligible homeowners three options: resilient retrofit, home raising or buy-back.

For buy-back it will be considered on a case-by-case basis and is voluntary. Councils will consider a range of factors including flood risk, socio-economic factors and severity of damage from eligible weather events.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding says the six properties to be demolished on Enid Street, Mill Street and Cox Crescent were among the first identified for buy-back as part of the resilience program.

“Once the property has been purchased by council and settlement finalised, all utility services to the property are removed and structures are demolished in due course, with the land re-zoned for non-habitable uses,” she said.

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More than 5700 homeowners have now registered for the Resilient Homes Fund, which remains open for Queensland homeowners affected by the floods.

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles says the program has enabled flood-affected homeowners to move on with their lives without the risk of flooding.

More than 40 Ipswich homeowners have now accepted offers under the program, including 21 whose homes have already settled.

“Valuations have been undertaken at over 160 homes across the city, so it is expected that more homeowners will accept these life-changing offers over the coming weeks,” Mr Miles said.

“It is a great relief to know that houses such as these Goodna properties will be demolished and the land re-zoned for non-occupied use such as parkland.”