Heavy flood water tears through the Lismore CBD.
Heavy flood water tears through the Lismore CBD. Marc Stapelberg

Flood workshop to help Lismore build disaster resilience

LISMORE City Council will host a flood charrette/workshop with key community partners and stakeholders next week as part of a project to improve Lismore's preparedness and resilience for future flood events.

The charrette will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, October 4-5 , with a public meeting and summary session on the Thursday evening detailing outcomes and next steps.

The workshop is part of the broader Lismore Flood Ready project, which includes the development of a comprehensive plan for dealing with major floods, from the initial emergency phase right through to long-term recovery. This plan will complement existing emergency management arrangements.

"The aim of this workshop is to bring together the plethora of stakeholders, briefings, reviews and working groups into one place to agree on a flood plan. If we don't do this we will have an ad-hoc and disjointed response to future floods,” the council's Executive Director Sustainable Development Brent McAlister said.

As part of the workshop, key government, business and community stakeholders will come together for a roundtable discussion and to coordinate implementation of the various reviews and reports that have been conducted since the March natural disaster.

"The reality is that extreme weather events and major floods will occur again in the future, and our city needs to be better prepared to respond with key programs and procedures in place to assist with clean-up and recovery,” Mr McAlister said.

"Our community, Council and emergency service personnel did a magnificent job of responding to the March flood event, which was unprecedented as the levee had never before overtopped. We need to learn what mistakes we made so we don't repeat them, but we also need to document the wonderful ways in which our community came together and supported one another.

"We also want to record learnings from the Lismore Helping Hands Hub and what happened at the donations pavilion. This will allow us to better coordinate volunteers, both before a flood hits as well as after the waters recede, to ensure that our business people and the most vulnerable in our community are well supported throughout any disaster event.”

The workshop will look at five key focus areas:

1. Preparedness

Spontaneous Volunteer Management

Business and Community Education and Awareness

2. Recovery

Spontaneous Volunteer Management

Donations Coordination and Flood Appeals

3. Connectedness

Communication and Coordination

Welfare Management

4. Business Sector

Preparedness, Response and Recovery

5. Funding and Governance

Lismore Flood Ready Plan Implementation

Members of the public are welcome to attend the summary session in the Council Chambers on Thursday, October 5 from 6-7pm.

The summary session will also be live streamed via the Meeting Webcasts page on Council's website at www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.

For more information on the Lismore Flood Ready project visit www.lismore.nsw.gov.au.

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