Lismore will soon be better prepared for future flood events with the NSW Government today announcing $8.2 million has been allocated for works to help protect local businesses and families during floods.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro and Member for Lismore Thomas George announced the funding for Stage 1 of the Lismore Flood Mitigation plan, alongside NSW Nationals’ candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin and representatives from Rous County Council, Lismore City Council, Lismore Business Chamber and the Lismore Citizens Flood Review.
Mr George said the first priority in the Lismore Flood Mitigation plan is to excavate 410,000 cubic metres of soil from behind the airport, in order to channel Leycester Creek overflow into the flood plain, where it will travel around Lismore airport before re-entering the river system below the city.
“This announcement would not have been possible without the efforts of Austin Curtin, whose flood campaign reinforced to the government there was community support for this project,” Mr George said.
In March 2017, Tropical Cyclone Debbie delivered extreme rainfall across northern NSW towns, causing the Wilson River to peak at 11.6 metres and breach the existing flood levee, resulting in two-metre high floodwaters engulfing the Lismore CBD.
“The community, local businesses, Lismore City Council, emergency services volunteers, the NSW Government Flood Recovery Coordinator and support services did an incredible job getting the region back on its feet,” Mr George said.
“This excavation will hopefully give all stakeholders more time to assess their evacuation options in future flood events.”
Mr Curtin said this was a win for local businesses and families following the losses they suffered in the 2017 floods.
“We all experienced firsthand the devastating impact on Lismore and how badly residents and businesses were affected in the aftermath, which is why it is vital that any flood prevention measures had the backing and support of the community,” Mr Curtin said.
“We know that Lismore cannot be made flood-proof, but this work is an important step forward in reducing the risk of serious flood events,” he said.
Mr Barilaro said the $8.2 million funding from the NSW Government would help to safeguard the community, increase disaster resilience and boost business confidence.
“Lismore City Council and the community have worked together with the NSW Government on flood prevention following the recovery effort and that is the reason this project has already received the necessary approvals and is shovel ready,” Mr Barilaro said.