Demolition at the Lismore Club, to make way for a new section of the flood levee.
Demolition at the Lismore Club, to make way for a new section of the flood levee. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Lismore levee finally started

IT HAS been two years of planning, developing, penny pinching and a little opposition, but the time has finally come to make way for repairs to the Lismore levee wall.

Demolition of part of the iconic Lismore Club began this week with workers pulling down the rear end of the heritage-listed building.

But heritage sympathisers may rest assured, the demolished rear was an add-on in the 1970s.

The remaining two-storey structure is the original Lismore Club, built in the 1920s.

A levee wall will be constructed three metres from the back of the building after a crack emerged in the existing levee after the 2009 flood.

"The crack appeared quite insignificant at the time but it grew quite big in the scheme of things," Richmond River County Council floodplain services manager Michael Wood said

Mr Wood said the County Council applied for funding to fix the levee wall under the Natural Disaster Relief Scheme.

Once funding was secured and the Lismore Club purchased, the drawn-out and complex planning process ensued.

"It is a bit of a buzz," Mr Wood said.

"Because we had to make sure procedures were followed, it's been well organised but it (these things) can take a long time."

The contract for the levee repair was awarded to FE Marsh and Co of Kyogle.

Richmond River County Council engineer Bill Moorhouse said the project would be completed in two stages.

Stage one is the demolition of part of the Lismore Club and the construction of the levee wall, estimated to be completed by late January.

Stage two is the stabilisation of the river bank, which contributed to the crack in the original levee wall and the shifting of its foundations.

Mr Moorhouse said pile footings would be built into the river bank to stabilise the slope.

Mr Wood said the original levee section would remain intact until the project was completed.

"It's a double insurance," he said.

"It will give us some sort of protection in case something happens before then."

In July this year, Lismore City Council saved the club from complete demolition after Mayor Jenny Dowell used her casting vote twice.

 

Is the Lismore Club a vital piece of Lismore's heritage? Leave a comment below.



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