Council asks candidates to commit $10m to fix landslip
A TOXIC landslip at Lismore Heights could become a Federal election issue, after Lismore City councillors voted to ask all candidates to commit $10 million to fix the site.
The decision was made at a closed extraordinary meeting last week.
It comes after repeated attempts by the council to seek external funding to remediate the landslip in Beardow St.
The council has now decided to "immediately... undertake the required works to fully remediate and restore the landslip area”.
This will be funded by cancelling a number of projects "as outlined” in a confidential council report.
The cancelled projects will then be considered as priorities for the 2019-20 budget.
Councillors also voted to authorise general manager Shelley Oldham to "continue to pursue all available avenues for reimbursement of the cost of the works”.
If the council is successful in recouping the cost of the works from an external source, those funds will be returned to the programs/ projects that council has cancelled to fund the work.
The final point of the councillors' resolution was for the council to write to the Federal candidates asking them to "commit a minimum of an additional $10 million in specific road funding for special projects in our LGA in the coming term”.
In January this year, The Northern Star revealed the landslip happened in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, and the site was found to contain toxic heavy metals and asbestos.
The slip was so severe that one of the houses on Beardow St is not accessible by car and is now up for sale.
The soil was found to be too contaminated to be disposed of in landfill facilities in northern NSW.
Restoration works on privately owned land at 22 New Ballina Rd involving the excavation of the landslip and reformation of the embankment along Beardow St began in August 2018, but works halted when historic industrial waste including coke and slag like materials, as well as bonded asbestos, was encountered.
Tests found concentrations of some chemicals in soils within the embankment exceeded the levels safe for current and future land uses.