COUNCIL: From top left, councillors Bill Moorhouse, Neil Marks, Gianpiero Battista, Greg Bennett, Adam Guise and Darlene Cook. Seating, Elly Bird, Eddie Lloyd, Mayor Isaac Smith, Vanessa Ekins and Nancy Casson.
COUNCIL: From top left, councillors Bill Moorhouse, Neil Marks, Gianpiero Battista, Greg Bennett, Adam Guise and Darlene Cook. Seating, Elly Bird, Eddie Lloyd, Mayor Isaac Smith, Vanessa Ekins and Nancy Casson.

10 big moments that defined 2020 for Lismore City Council

AFTER a year of floods, fires and a global pandemic, it would be an understatement to say that Lismore Council has faced a big year.

Here are some of the highlights and lowlights from 2020 for the council:

1) Lismore Council delivers huge financial turnaround.

In a bleak year which was decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, Lismore Council managed to deliver a surprising audit result. The recent audit saw Council had recovered their deficit from an eight million dollar deficit to $600,000 deficit.

>>> SEE MORE: Lismore Council deliver big turnaround in financial audit <<<

2) Isaac Smith resigns as mayor

Mayor Isaac Smith shocked the local community by announcing his resignation from the role late last week. Cr Smith had held the role since 2016 and been on council since 2016. His retirement from Lismore City Council will be effective from 1 February 2021.

>>> SEE MORE: Mayor Isaac Smith retires from Council <<<

Lismore City Council mayor Isaac Smith has retired from council.
Lismore City Council mayor Isaac Smith has retired from council.

3) Two councillors resign from Lismore Council

It feels like a lifetime ago, but it was shock decision to see councillors Gianpiero Battista and Greg Bennett resign from Lismore City Council in August.

Mr Battista described his decision at the time as a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the leadership of the council.

>>> SEE MORE: Two Lismore councillors call it quits <<<

>>> SEE MORE: Battista details his ‘vote of no confidence’ <<<

Gianpiero Battista resigned from council earlier this year.
Gianpiero Battista resigned from council earlier this year.

4) Council’s major rate hike scrapped

Another one from earlier this year. Council had debated whether to raise the rates by 24 per cent over four years. The plan would have staggered a rate increase by 7.5, 9.4, 3.9 and 3.2 per cent to fund an infrastructure and roads backlog.

After widespread backlash, the council agreed to withdraw the application.

>>> SEE MORE: Council withdraw plan for massive rate hike <<<

5) Lismore declared a natural disaster zone

Heavy rain lashed the Lismore LGA and the entire Northern Rivers region.

The rain was unrelenting to the point that it created flash flooding and gridlocked the CBD. The damage is expected to exceed $15 million dollars and saw Prime Minister Scott Morrison visiting the city and declaring the area a natural disaster zone.

>>> SEE MORE: Lismore declared a natural disaster zone after flash flooding <<<

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Lismore after the grand opening of the Pacific Highway upgrade in New Italy.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Lismore after the grand opening of the Pacific Highway upgrade in New Italy.

6)‘Tough’ budget gets approved

It was described as ‘devastating’, and the budget where ‘everywhere cops a cut’ and undoubtedly, the 20/21 budget was one of the tougher budgets we have seen.

At the time it looked tough as the reckoning of COVID-19 area was recognised but the result of the financial audit shows that the council is having progress in a difficult financial position.

>>> SEE MORE: Tough financial budget receives approval <<<

7) Lismore Lake Pool debate revives

The Lismore Lake Pool is a hotbed of debate both for council and local residents, and it was at the forefront of community debate in 2020, both offline and online.

The project was the subject of a debate between council’s general manager Shelley Oldham and Page MP Kevin Hogan, involving a mysterious $2 million dollar offer to save the pool.

>>>SEE MORE: War of words over Lismore Lake Pool. <<<

>>> SEE MORE: Will someone save the Lismore Lake Pool <<<

The Lismore Lake Pool is in a state of disrepair after being closed.
The Lismore Lake Pool is in a state of disrepair after being closed.

8) Santin Quarry quashed

The issue of Santin Quarry’s DA attracted a major amount of public submissions before council sided with local residents and declined on granting Santin Quarry an extension.

The submission wanted the quarry extended for sixteen years on their pre-existing DA conditions from the 1990s.

The public mounted a case that the DA was expired and void.

>>> SEE MORE: Council quash quarry <<<

A development application has been lodged with Lismore City Council to expand the life of Santin Quarry on Riverbank Rd, Lismore.
A development application has been lodged with Lismore City Council to expand the life of Santin Quarry on Riverbank Rd, Lismore.

9) Heritage Park receives a facelift

The beloved park facility, on the outskirts of the Lismore CBD, is ready for a new generation of children to enjoy after council delivered their facelift of Heritage Park.

The new pieces for the kids and young at heart include a water park and a new climb-and-slide centrepiece.

>>> SEE MORE: Heritage Park facelift unveiled <<

The newly upgraded Heritage Park.
The newly upgraded Heritage Park.

10) Council unveils their annual upcycled Christmas tree

It is always a much-anticipated reveal and the annual Lismore Christmas tree did not disappoint in 2020.

The tree was designed by council staff and used sustainable materials with a focus on recycling materials.

The 2020 tree was a shout out to the rural community.

>>> SEE MORE: Lismore unveil Christmas tree for 2020 <<<

Photos of the 2020 Lismore Christmas tree
Photos of the 2020 Lismore Christmas tree


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