A campaign started by the National’s candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin to fund local flood mitigation has taken a leap forward, with the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today visiting the area today to inspect the plans.

Mr Curtin said the Deputy Premier’s visit was an important step to ensure the project was fully understood and ultimately backed by the NSW Government.

“Last year’s floods devastated businesses and homes across this electorate which is why flood mitigation works are so important,” Mr Curtin said,

“This campaign is all about protecting our city and our people from future disaster.

“I want to ensure that our community has the ear of government, and that talk actually translates into action, and that is why I invited the Deputy Premier to Lismore to see the plans put forward by council,” he said.

Stage one of the proposed new flood plan includes moving 410,000 cubic metres of soil outside the levee to inside the levee, which will allow water flowing from Leycester Creek to travel easily down the flood plain channel past the airport, before re-entering the river system below the city.

Mr Barilaro said he appreciated the devastating impact of floods, and that any steps to mitigate that devastation would help boost the security of residents as well as business confidence.

“I know the recent floods severely impacted residents and business operators, which is why taking steps to reduce the likelihood of future flooding is vital,” Mr Barilaro said.

“We want any flood mitigation plan to have the support of the community, so I commend Austin for supporting the local councils to ensure that these plans are backed by a community petition,” he said.

Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government will investigate possible funding sources while the petition is being circulated.