Council urges patience for those affected by road closures
LISMORE City Council has urged patience from rural residents as some of the major road closures caused by the recent natural disaster could take months to repair.
All residents will have emergency services access by the end of today and be able to reach Lismore, however, for some this means a much longer trip than usual.
Council is now compiling detailed damage assessments for a disaster relief application to the Commonwealth-State National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Rough estimates suggest the total damage bill from the flood could be well over $40 million.
Once assessments are finalised in the next three weeks, the NSW Government will need to assess Council's claim and undertake geotechnical reports before disaster relief funding can be issued.
This is not a process Council can speed up, except to ensure that Lismore's claim is submitted to the NSW Government soon as possible so the natural disaster funding process can get underway, Lismore mayor Isaac Smith said.
"We understand for some residents this seems like a long time, but disaster recovery is a lengthy and complicated process, and the work must be done right," Cr Smith said.
"Some of the landslips we are dealing with are quite serious, and are also very expensive to repair. We are relying on disaster relief in order to complete these works."
Council is now in the process of restarting its regular roadworks program, which Cr Smith says is good news for local ratepayers.
"Council's own resources used during 'normal' work hours aren't eligible to be covered under the natural disaster funding," he explained.
"Using our crews on the regular roadworks schedule and contracting out the flood repairs gives ratepayers the best bang for their buck.
"Council acknowledges this will be frustrating for some ratepayers, but is ultimately the best outcome for the Lismore Local Government Area."
Roads still subject to closure are:
- Boatharbour Road (culvert collapse).
- Cawongla Road (landslip).
- Keerrong Road (landslip).
- Koonorigan Road (landslip).
- Oakey Creek Road (culvert washed away).
- Suffolk Road off Blue Knob Road (culvert washed way - repairs currently taking place).
For road closure updates, visit www.myroadinfo.com.au.