NSW Flood Recovery: Rebuilding critical community infrastructure

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WolfPeak is supporting the NSW Government to rebuild the communities that were most heavily impacted by the 2021 floods. 

Less than 18 months after the Black Summer bushfires tore through New South Wales, the state was hit with major flooding. The 2021 New South Wales floods affected large parts of the state – stretching from the Queensland border, through the Sydney metropolitan area and multiple inland locations, and down to parts of the South Coast. 

At the height of the crisis, flood warnings were issued to around six million New South Wales residents, and there were more than 1,000 flood rescues across multiple impacted communities. 

The damage was devastating. The Australian Insurance Council of Australia reported $629.6 million in damage associated with the floods. That included 1,196 houses left completely uninhabitable, and widespread damage to roads and community infrastructure.

Rebuilding damaged communities

As part of the disaster relief effort, the NSW State Government initiated a community infrastructure program to provide $50 million to help rebuild and repair flood-damaged community infrastructure. 

Christina Roberts, Government Advisory Consultant at WolfPeak, has been embedded in the Department of Regional New South Wales as a Flood Strategic Coordinator.

“I worked across a few teams depending on where the support was needed,” she says. “The community infrastructure program is targeted to the 21 local government areas (LGAs) that were identified as the most impacted.”

Each of the 21 most heavily affected LGAs was invited to apply for community infrastructure program recovery funding. Part of Christina’s role was to prepare communication material on all of the applications to assist the assessment panel make fair and balanced decisions.

“Funding decisions were made based on the eligibility criteria, so it was important that the assessment panel had all the relevant information they needed to inform their decision making,” she says. 

“I also needed to make sure all the applications were presented in a consistent and digestible way. We then collated the assessment panel’s recommendations, and briefs were set to the Deputy Premier for approval.”

Strategic support when it matters

Christina was then seconded to a new team within the Department of Regional New South Wales. Here, she worked on a flood recovery funding program focussed on industry infrastructure.  

“My role involved developing templates for the team, and setting up governance guidelines to establish the team structure,” she explains. “One of the grant programs was to assist in the recovery of critical producers following the floods.”   

This is all part of the disaster recovery work that falls under WolfPeak’s Government and Strategic Advisory team. And we don’t advise from the sidelines – WolfPeak experts like Christina are often embedded in government agencies to provide on-the-ground support where and when it’s needed.

That’s how WolfPeak affects real change. Our experts provide an independent external view, and inject the new energy that’s required to keep time-sensitive disaster recovery and community investments programs on track.  

“We also provide stability when program timelines become a challenge and government agencies need support to deliver the required outcomes,” Christina explains. “When a team is under the pump we can fill the gap, and provide a structure or framework to keep workflows moving along.”  

Solutions that deliver

Our mission is to help governments find pathways and solve complex problems when the pressure is on. Whether that means strategic thinking, crafting policy or providing competent administration support with tried and tested project management techniques that ensure project success.

WolfPeak experts bring policy, politics, media, communications and stakeholder engagement experience to the table. 

We also pride ourselves on the strong industry relationships we’ve built over many years, and work with multiple stakeholders across sectors to find amenable solutions that deliver the best community outcome. 

And it’s having a positive impact on our communities that motivates us the most. “It is really rewarding to know the work we’re doing every day is helping people,” Christina concludes. 

Need the right strategic advice or critical support? Get in touch to find out how WolfPeak can help keep your department’s critical projects on track. 

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