Insurance boss praises Lismore’s levee
THERE have been 2000 flood damage claims valued at $10 million on the Northern Rivers so far thanks to ex-cyclone Oswald with the Insurance Council of Australia expecting that figure to rise sharply by the end of the week.
And the council's chief executive Rob Whelan has praised Lismore as an example of a city whose investment in infrastructure to try and protect its community from flooding had paid off, unlike some regional centres in Queensland.
"NSW, for example, historically has actually put in levee banks around certain communities like Lismore and Grafton," Mr Whelan told the ABC's Lateline program on Tuesday night.
"They were actually protected from this recent flood because they had levee banks protecting them," he said.
"So the damage was minimal compared to what's happening, say, in Bundaberg which is a catastrophe.
"Those people are not protected; they're exposed to that risk. It's an enormous flood."
The $20 million levee completed in 2005 and recently upgraded, has been a hugely controversial project.
But Lismore City Council traffic and emergency services co-ordinator Bill MacDonald said there was no doubt that in this latest flood alone, the levee had spared CBD shops from inundation.