DAMAGE BILL: A ruined culvert on Boatharbour Rd.
DAMAGE BILL: A ruined culvert on Boatharbour Rd. Contributed

$40 million army of contractors to boost Lismore's economy

AN ARMY of contractors is set to descend on Lismore once the State Government opens its purse strings to help repair Lismore City Council's ravaged roads.

While many of our region's roads are a scene of costly destruction, there is a big silver lining to all the pain.

Under the Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), councils are not allowed to use their own staff to fix disaster damaged roads.

Once the NSW Government approves Lismore's application, the council will be advertising for private contractors.

The number of contractors required to fix the network will require an influx of crews from across the region and beyond - and they will have to stay and eat somewhere local.

This could provide a much-needed boost to the local economy, still reeling from the flood disaster.

Lismore Chamber of Commerce vice president Andrew Gordon said Lismore needed to take full advantage of the opportunity to cater to work crews.

"The economic benefit of that for this LGA is enormous,” he said.

"You've only got to see the Pacific Highway upgrade and the attention that brought to town.”

"Whilst they are making that money, they have to live here to do it. They will be spreading that money around this community.

DAMAGE BILL: A section of Lismore's rural roads damaged in the March flood.
DAMAGE BILL: A section of Lismore's rural roads damaged in the March flood. Contributed

Local quarries and other roads services will also be kept very busy during the recovery phase.

"The flow on to the business community is not to be underestimated. It's a silver bullet for this economy,” he said.

"It will square us up.

"While it's been a devastating event, there will be some good things come of it.”

Lismore City Council has lodged its claim with the NSW Government and is now waiting on their assessment, which will include independent geotechnical reports.

It's hoped the government will give the $40 million tick of approval as soon as possible.

"Some of the landslips we are dealing with are quite serious, and are also very expensive to repair,” mayor Isaac Smith.

"We are relying on disaster relief in order to complete these works.”



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