Skip to main content

Find disaster recovery services and support

First select disaster or event(s)Expand list
Select assistance typeExpand list
Three people stand behind a Norco branded table featuring ice cream and flavoured milk products.

Norco back in the ice cream business with enhanced flood resilience

Norco back in the ice cream business with enhanced flood resilience

When Lismore in the Northern Rivers was hit by a severe flooding event in February 2022, no one could have predicted the sheer destruction that it would leave in its wake.

The flooding left the town in despair, with homes, properties and businesses destroyed across the region. Amongst those businesses was the Norco ice cream factory.

Now, after over 18 months of hard work, Norco has proudly reopened its doors, stronger and more resilient for future flooding events.


Government funding boosts Norco’s flood resilience

With the help of over $45 million in funding, contributed jointly by the Australian and NSW Governments, Norco’s new flood-proof design and technologies leave them equipped to defend floodwaters up to 15 metres high. Additional funding went to wage support for Norco employees during the aftermath of the floods.

$20 million of this investment came directly from the Australian Government and $34.7 million came jointly funded through the Anchor Business Support Grant Program, supporting businesses in retaining staff and rebuilding. “It was an absolute lifeline to rebuilding this facility,” said Norco CEO, Michael Hampson.

Along with the addition of its new four-stage flood management plan, Norco has been able to rebuild the facilities with future disasters in mind and strengthen its flood resilience. The installation of quick-release mechanisms now allows pumps and other equipment to be lifted out of danger and onto one of the two new mezzanines that have been installed. Additional pumps and sumps have been added to protect equipment that can’t be moved, and specialised equipment like switch boards are now positioned 15 metres above ground.


Norco’s return key to community recovery

The factory is one of the largest employers in the Northern Rivers region, employing about 130 locals with more expected over the coming months. “We’ve welcomed back a lot of returning employees,” said Jess Anderson, Senior Production Coordinator. “One big happy family again”.

Norco CEO Michael Hampson said “We were very fortunate, and so were our people, to be able to receive income support from the Government which meant staff were able to maintain their employment for 26 weeks after the flood. A lot of those team members of Norco went out in the community to help residents, businesses and public assets to be restored”


Norco continues to support local farmers

In addition to supporting employees and the local job market, Norco can now continue to support local farmers. Michael Hampson, Norco CEO, said “Norco is a 100% farmer owned cooperative and we take our role in looking after farmers quite seriously. Having this ice cream factory down created a lot of uncertainty.”

“With Norco being back up and running, we’ve been able to provide confidence for the farmers so that they can continue to invest in their business.”

The improvements made to the Norco factory will assist in boosting its flood and disaster resilience, and in turn, continue to support the Northern Rivers community.