Inspecting the completed levee repairs are, from left, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell; Peter Ellem representing Page MP Janelle Saffin; the Member for Lismore Thomas George; Richmond River County Council engineer Bill Moorhouse; and county council member and Lismore City deputy mayor Isaac Smith.
Inspecting the completed levee repairs are, from left, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell; Peter Ellem representing Page MP Janelle Saffin; the Member for Lismore Thomas George; Richmond River County Council engineer Bill Moorhouse; and county council member and Lismore City deputy mayor Isaac Smith. Marc Stapelberg

Levee complete, city is protected

MORE car parking spaces and a revegetated river bank will be next following the completion of repairs to the Lismore flood levee.

Richmond River County Council engineer Bill Moorhouse said the levee was now waterproof against a 1-in-10-year flood.

"It has taken 18 months of planning and three months of construction but the levee is complete once again," he said.

Council general manager Kyme Lavelle said 12 garages owned by Clarence Properties (Westlawn Investments) on the river side of the new section of levee would be moved elsewhere in the CBD in a land swap deal to be negotiated with the Lismore City Council.

With the old wall also set to be removed, he said it would clear the way for at least eight extra car parking spaces.

The riverbank will be replanted with native trees and bushes.

The council's floodplain services manager Michael Wood said yesterday during an inspection of the repair work that the levee had already saved Lismore businesses and residents millions of dollars in damage from three floods since it was completed in 2005.

Riverbank subsidence after flooding in 2009 damaged a section of the levee behind the former Lismore Club off Molesworth St and it cost $2.8 million to put right.

The repairs project included Lismore City Council's purchase of the heritage-listed Lismore Club building and demolition of extensions that were added in the 1970s.

Demolition made room for the levee wall to be moved away from the river bank and the subsidence to be remediated.

The Federal Government co-funded the project on a two-for-one basis, with Page MP Janelle Saffin supporting the funding and a year's extension due to various delays.

The building's fate was the subject of a long debate at a city council meeting last year when Mayor Jenny Dowell used her casting vote to prevent its demolition.

Cr Dowell said she had received overwhelming community feedback from people who did not want to see the building demolished.

The restoration of 1974 flood level signs around the CBD is also on the Richmond River County Council's agenda.



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