Vaile unveils $19.6m flood levee
By NERIDA BLOK
FEDERAL Nationals Leader Mark Vaile reckons he was about a month late for the opening of Lismore's flood levee.
"The levee was officially opened by Mother Nature one month ago," he said.
Mr Vaile yesterday helped Lismore mayor Merv King unveil a plague in Spinks Park to commemorate the completion of the $19.6 million project, touted as saving the city.
State Member for Tweed Neville Newell also helped draw back the curtain on behalf of the NSW Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Craig Knowles.
The ceremony was watched by more than 200 people, including the 16 Federal MPs in town for a National Party meeting.
Mr Vaile said the levee had already shown its value to Lismore.
"It protected Lismore from the flood last month," he said. "The flood peaked at 10.2 metres, and the levee is designed to protect the city from 10.8-metre floods."
Cr King paid tribute to those involved with the project since inception.
"I'm sure of one thing. Cr Bob Gates would be looking down smiling," said Cr King of his predecessor.
"He was at the fore of what we are achieving here today."
Cr John Chant, deputy mayor and levee construction authority chair, was equally proud of the levee.
Cr Chant said it was a great feat of construction.
"The most significant in our city's history in my view," he said.
Local and State govern- ment also contributed to levee funding, providing $5 million and $8.5 million, re- spectively.