Flood mitigation plan gains momentum
A CAMPAIGN to fund local flood mitigation has taken a massive leap forward as the Deputy Premier John Barilaro visited the area to inspect the plans yesterday.
Mr Barilaro said he appreciated the devastating impact of floods, and that any steps to mitigate that devastation would help boost the security of residents as well as business confidence.
"We want any flood mitigation plan to have the support of the community," he said.
"This is a contentious issue and I know there are people in the community that don't support the plan.
"Without bipartisan, without local government we will never be able to achieve it.
"I'm here to inspect, have a look, chat through the process, encourage more people to get behind the petition and supporting your council and of course Austin and the State Government in making sure we find a solution moving forward."
Nationals candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin said it was great to see the acting premier, Mr Barilaro, in Lismore just under a week of launching the petition.
"There has been wonderful support for the petition that we launched and within a week we've had a huge number of signatures," Mr Curtin said.
Stage one of the plan includes moving 410,000 cubic metres of soil outside the levee to inside the levee.
In doing so, Lismore City Councillor and chair of the floodplain advisory committee, Bill Moorhouse, said this could potentially have stopped an estimated 600mls of water from the CBD in 2017.
"Bearing in mind it went over the CBD by 700mls," Cr Moorhouse said.
"So 100mls might not have been enough to wet the CBD properly, it might have only wet the bottom of Dawson Street."
The plan was expected to push more water down towards the airport, where it flowed through before the railway line was built.
"Because the railway line deflects water into North Lismore and part of South, (residents) will be better off if we can open this up and get the flood way working," Cr Moorhouse said.
"We are trying to recreate what Mother Nature did before we've come along and stuffed up with railways and levees and things."
Mr Barilaro said the NSW Government will investigate possible funding sources while the petition was still being circulated.
"Don't just let decisions to be made out of Macquarie Street which is normally the criticism of government," he said.
"You've got a chance today to lead the debate as a community and put forward the solution you believe is right.
"Our job then, through Austin and through Thomas, is deliver the funding and that's why I am here today."