Keith Roxburgh, Moreton Bay – Voluntary Home Buy-Back program

“Following the 2022 floods, when we were living in the caravan at Morayfield, the mere thought that it was going to rain – whether it was hard rain or a sprinkle – the stress it caused, you have no idea.

"Where we’ve moved to, we now welcome the rain. It fills the tanks. We’ve got 22 acres of beautiful country. We’re out on a bluff, and we overlook farms and villages, it’s just beautiful.”

Life for Keith Roxburgh and his partner Darcy looks very different today to what it did two years ago.

Their former home in Visentin Road, Morayfield was inundated by flooding early 2022, with water reaching a height of 1.6 metres.

Keith, who was alone when the water started to rise, manged to evacuate just in time.

Water was lapping his ankles as he began the task of relocating eight show dogs to a neighbour’s shed on higher ground.

By the time the last dog was safely out of harm’s way, water had risen to his chest. He escaped with just his phone and the clothes he was wearing.

“We couldn’t get back (to the home) for about a week,” Keith said.

"In that time, because we had called the insurance company, they had started to pull the internal walls down and take all the furniture out.

“So when we got to our property, what we were confronted with was virtually all of our stuff in mini-skips being taken to the dump. 

"There was a lifetime of memories that were totally destroyed. Things you can never get back."

Keith said their insurance covered costs for temporary accommodation so the couple had opted for a caravan to be put onsite while they began the daunting task of a rebuild, which they estimated would take around two years.

But after applying for the Voluntary Home Buy-Back program, part of the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund, their plans took a different turn.

“I think the [buy-back] offer was more than reasonable. The whole thing was too good to be true,” Keith said.

“There was no hesitation for us to accept their offer because it was true to value. And we know that because we had got a valuation on the place prior to the floods, and the offer that came through was valued the same.”

It came as no surprise to Keith that the land upon which his former home had stood was flooded again in January this year.

The couple’s block was one of three bought back under the VHBB program that flooded again in 2024. Had the homes not been demolished or removed, they would have again been inundated and the families living in them would have had to endure another massive clean-up operation.

“The fact the government stepped in, as they did, was probably a lifesaver for us. Because if we had built back we’d be in the same position again as nobody in their right mind would want to buy the house.”

And now, having moved onto a mountain, 500 metres above sea level, the couple are filled with gratitude.

“We often just say to each other that we're so grateful and lucky we were chosen and accepted as part of the program," he said.

“There would be no way we would be able to be in the position we are without that support and without the Voluntary Home Buy-Back program.”