THE Northern Rivers region’s four State MPs tomorrow (Wednesday, 5 October) will make a joint familiarisation tour of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority’s Brisbane headquarters.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has arranged the visit for her Parliamentary colleagues Geoff Provest (Tweed), Tamara Smith MP (Ballina) and Chris Gulaptis (Clarence) to inform our flood recovery and preparedness for natural disasters.
Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation staff also will attend.
The delegation will be hosted by QRA Acting Chief Executive Jimmy Scott and General Manager Strategy & Engagement Janet England.
Ms Saffin said it was an opportunity to learn about the QRA’s policy, legal and operational structure, particularly as NSW was moving to establish its own Reconstruction Authority, a strong recommendation in her flood inquiry submission.
“I’m keen to know how the QRA works with community; how they bring all agencies on board and deploy all assets; what informs their thinking for recovery; and how they advise Ministers of what the needs are,” Ms Saffin said.
Mr Provest said he was looking forward to seeing how the QRA was progressing its recovery and planning objectives.
“Natural disasters don’t recognise electorate and state boundaries so we need to work together in the interests of our region,” Mr Provest said.
“My electorate borders Queensland and what happens in that State often has an impact on my constituents so an understanding of how things are being done north of the border will be very helpful.”
Ms Smith said the Queensland model has worked extremely well and seems to have the agility to respond quickly to community needs despite being a large entity.
“I’m very interested in seeing how the QRA is able to get funds and resources out the door to vulnerable communities quickly and efficiently,” Ms Smith said.
Mr Gulaptis said he was very pleased to join with his colleagues and work together on a bipartisan basis to deliver positive outcomes for flood-ravaged communities.
“We hope our joint visit to the QRA will help provide some positive solutions to assist people in our communities to recover as quickly as possible,” Mr Gulaptis said.