Co-operatives have their say as NSW Parliament’s Select Committee Flood Inquiry releases final report

10 August 2022

The BCCM is pleased to see that the anticipated report into the recent flood events acknowledges the vital role of local knowledge in responding to crises.

The select committee was established on 23 March 2022 to inquire into and report on the response to major flooding across New South Wales in 2022. The Inquiry received 87 submissions including that of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals.

“The work of the Select Committee has been a valuable process for the people of the New South Wales and the broader Australian population as natural disasters threaten to become more frequent and more severe,” said Melina Morrison, CEO, BCCM. ​​​​​​”The experience of the impacted communities themselves – endured both during natural disasters and in the aftermath – should be foremost in informing every part of building resilience and recovery strategies.”

“The BCCM notes Recommendation 18 that the NSW Government, in partnership with community groups, including First Nations groups, develop initiatives to build community resilience, particularly in regions at high risk of future natural disaster events.

“Local response plans cannot be effectively formulated bureaucratically and remotely from the disaster epicentres. For this reason, the BCCM has strongly advocated the establishment of a National Co-operative Disaster Recovery Centre of Excellence, with Lismore the stand-out candidate for its location. Floods and other natural disasters can have a severe impact on the availability of a local workforce as people left homeless relocate to other regions. Further attention needs to be given to co-operatively run labour pools and affordable accommodation solutions, in order to retain, attract and house the workers necessary to rebuild a thriving community,” explained Melina.

“The BCCM is pleased to see the recommendation that the NSW Government review the provision of temporary and long term housing options provided to those affected by the February–March 2022 floods, ensuring a range of options are identified.”

Read Melina’s comments in Southern Riverina News.

Read the BCCM’s earlier media release “Depleted workforce and housing impact to remain severe challenges, BCCM tells 2022 NSW Floods Inquiry”.

Read the BCCM’s Primary producer co-operatives: The beating heart of community resilience and recovery report.

Listen to Casino Food Co-op CEO, Simon Stahl, recalling how the co-operative became the beating heart of the community response to the floods in their area of the Northern Rivers in the latest episode of our podcast Meet the Co-op Farmers.

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