On Saturday residents of the Aboriginal community of Cabbage Tree Island in northern New South Wales rallied to protest a decision to not rebuild homes following last year’s devastating floods.

At the beginning of last year, the whole of Cabbage Tree Island went underwater forcing the community to flee their homes and relocate to temporary accommodation in the nearby community of Wardell.

18 months on and the NSW Aboriginal Housing Office have decided not to rebuild homes.

The decision follows an investigation by the Department of Planning which found the the community at too high-risk of future flooding to rebuild.

Locals on Saturday hit the streets in a fight to have the decision overturned and to see the community they haven’t seen since they were forced to evacuate.

Delia Rhodes told the ABC “we want to go home and get back to some normality like we had before the floods. It’s just devastating news.”

The Jali Local Aboriginal Land Council have now decided to build 26 homes in Wardell.