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NSW Reconstruction Authority

The NSW Reconstruction Authority is dedicated to disaster prevention, preparedness, recovery, and reconstruction.

The government has established the Authority as part of its response to the 2022 floods and in line with recommendations from the independent 2022 NSW Flood Inquiry, which was led by Professor Mary O’Kane and Mick Fuller.

It is a statutory corporation reporting to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, the Hon Paul Scully MP, and the Minister for Emergency Services, the Hon Jihad Dib MP.

The Authority was established in December 2022 to better prepare communities for disasters, such as the devastating floods that NSW experienced in 2022.

These events, which occurred across much of NSW, have severely tested the state’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

The establishment of the NSW Reconstruction Authority means NSW communities will be best placed to face natural disasters and recover faster.

Functions and powers

Expanded scope

Following an Administrative Arrangements Order from the NSW Government, the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) and Infrastructure NSW’s Hawkesbury–Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Directorate (HNV) have become part of the NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Under the NSW Reconstruction Authority, the NRRC retains its Northern Rivers identity and continues to focus on rebuilding communities in the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed local government areas. This includes delivering the Resilient Homes Program.

The multidisciplinary HNV will initially work on developing the state’s first local disaster adaptation plan, which will focus on flood risk in the Hawkesbury–Nepean Valley. This will build on its previous work under Infrastructure NSW to prepare and support communities in western Sydney before, during and after emergencies.

Having the critical work and collective efforts of NSW Reconstruction Authority and the NRRC and HNV teams under a single agency will provide important opportunities to learn from a broad range of experiences and better help communities prepare for future disasters and recover and more effectively rebuild.

Reconstruction Area (Northern Rivers) Order 2023

On 13 June 2023, the Reconstruction Area (Northern Rivers) Order 2023 was declared under the NSW Reconstruction Act 2022. The reconstruction area includes the Local Government Areas of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.

The declaration of the Northern Rivers as a reconstruction area means the NSW Reconstruction Authority can help address issues delaying the rebuilding of the region and allows the Authority to require prompt decisions that influence reconstruction and recovery.

It also allows the NSW Reconstruction Authority to assist the NRRC, along with local councils, in delivering the timely reconstruction of housing, essential assets and infrastructure in the Northern Rivers.


In February 2023, Simon Draper was appointed as CEO of the NSW Reconstruction Authority, taking over from interim CEO, Mick Cassel, Secretary Department of Planning and Environment.

Having worked in the NSW Government for 9 years, Simon was Deputy Secretary Economic Policy at the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Secretary of the Department of Industry and was CEO of Infrastructure NSW from 2019 to 2023.

The first four members of the NSW Reconstruction Authority Advisory Board were appointed on 2 March 2023.

The inaugural Advisory Board members include Chairperson Stephen Murray, Charles Glanville, and Professor Mary O'Kane AC, appointed for a term of three years until 1 March 2026.

The role of the Advisory Board is to provide expert advice and make recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer, the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Minister for Emergency Services.

The Advisory Board will eventually consist of seven members, with two additional members to be nominated by the Australian Government, and a fifth state member position proposed to be filled later in 2023.

Our work

The NSW Reconstruction Authority is responsible for facilitating disaster prevention, preparedness, recovery, reconstruction, and adaptation to the effects of natural disasters in NSW.

The Authority will:

  • lead disaster resilience, risk reduction, adaptation and mitigation activities
  • provide education and infrastructure before disasters to minimise harm
  • ensure the reconstruction process begins swiftly when a disaster strikes
  • reduce community devastation.

The Authority’s responsibilities include:

  • creating and implementing the State disaster mitigation plan
  • giving advice as needed to councils and government agencies on disaster adaptation
  • supporting communities to help recover from a disaster
  • coordinating development in disaster-affected areas
  • acquiring and subdividing land for rebuilding communities
  • rebuilding infrastructure.

This represents a new and unique alignment between disaster planning and strategic planning that does not currently exist in NSW. This new approach will be an integral part of how we design our future cities and towns.

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For enquiries about the NSW Reconstruction Authority, email: reconstruction@dpie.nsw.gov.au

More information

For more information about the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) and their work, including the Resilient Homes Program, please visit: Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation

Related questions

Who will the Authority report to?

As the authority’s roles and responsibilities include certain planning powers, it will be responsible to the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces. The authority will also report to the Minister for Emergency Services.

What is the role of the Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board has been established to support the functions of the Authority. Its role is to provide advice and make recommendations to the CEO and to the relevant Ministers on matters to assist in the objectives of the Authority, namely, to promote community resilience to the impact of disasters in NSW. The chairperson of the Board is required to give the Minister a quarterly report about the exercise of the Authority's functions.

Will the Authority be responsible for handling emergencies?

The authority will not be responsible for handling emergencies. In an emergency, combat agencies will continue to remain responsible for issuing evacuation orders and response-related activities.

When will the Authority be operational?

The NSW Reconstruction Authority was established and commenced operations in December 2022.

What is the State disaster mitigation plan?

One of the authority’s key priorities is to develop the State disaster mitigation plan.

The State disaster mitigation plan will:

  • identify potential strategies and actions for reducing the impact of disasters
  • assess and consider the impacts of climate change on disasters
  • determine priority projects for regions to mitigate the impact of disasters.

The State disaster mitigation plan will set priorities for the plan, disaster adaptation plans and strategic plans under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

What has happened to Resilience NSW?

Resilience NSW has been wound down with the establishment of the NSW Reconstruction Authority. Most staff working at Resilience NSW have transitioned to the NSW Reconstruction Authority bringing their valuable experience and knowledge. Some staff will be offered positions across appropriate state government agencies, where there is better alignment to their expertise.

What will happen to the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation?

To ensure there is a single agency responsible for the reconstruction of devastated communities in NSW, the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation will be transitioned into the NSW Reconstruction Authority. The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation will continue to help rebuild communities within the Byron, Clarence Valley, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed and Kyogle local government areas until it is transitioned into the Authority in 2023.

What will happen to my application for the grant under the Resilient Homes Fund?

If you have applied for either the Resilient Land Program or the Resilient Homes Program, your application is being considered and there is nothing further to do. Under the Resilient Homes Program, the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation is prioritising homes in highest flood risk areas of the Northern Rivers and speaking with the most severely impacted homeowners first. The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation will keep you updated as the program rolls out and you can expect more information in early 2023. Find out more at Resilient Homes Fund

When will the community have their say on the NSW Reconstruction Authority Regulation 2023?

A Regulatory Impact Statement will be on exhibition by May 2023 for a minimum of 21 days providing an opportunity for stakeholders and the broader community to have their say on the Regulatory Impact Statement along with the Regulation.