Local members talk about Lismore's flood progress
WE ASKED our local members how they feel Lismore was going six months down the track from the devastating March flood.
Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said whilst the community was still going through difficult times he believes the major weather event really galvanised community spirit and growth.
"I think people are still referring to things as pre-flood and post-flood, it is very much on people's minds," Cr Smith said.
"When you look at other communities, it makes you realise we are special here we have done something quite phenomenal and that has led to a fantastic community recovery."
He said the community has certainly learnt a lot from the events that took place in March and moving forward they will be far better off for it.
"There are things that we are doing differently in council, there are things we are trying to get the State Government to do differently, there are things our community and our businesses are prepared for now that they just weren't aware of before."
Cr Smith said he believed red tape was holding back the remainder of flood recovery.
"I really hope those bureaucratic processes through State and disaster recovery can kick in and help us now," he said.
"I really hope the State Government learns from this for future communities because bush-fires, floods and disasters will happen, we need a State Government that is more responsive that can actually get that support to communities faster."
Lismore MP Thomas George said he has been extremely humbled and impressed with what has been achieved in the past six months.
"I have lived here all my life and I have never seen as much devastation and people personally affected than I have in this 2017 flood," Mr George said.
"To see people where we are today and seeing the city, the CBD area that has responded in such a positive way.
"All the businesses had to start from scratch really, so well done to the businesses, there has been a lot of personal grief, a lot of personal expense, a lot of heartache and hard work.
"In saying that, we still have a long way to go and the necessary ingredient now is for the community to support the Lismore businesses."
He said the State Government was still very much involved with the flood recovery.
"Council is working through a program that they've got and I think that is on an urgent basis, and they will continue to restore because the funding has all be approved," Mr George said.
"People that did put applications in, there hasn't been too many cases brought to my attention that haven't received, or are not still working through that process to be able to receive, some of that funding that was available."
Page MP Kevin Hogan said now that the city was well and truly in recovery, the next stage was for the council to make some serious decisions regarding flood mitigation.
"We cannot keep letting the CBD get flooded every 10 years or so, it retards investment people will not throw a lot of money into the CBD if they know eventually it is going to get flooded," Mr Hogan said.
"Council must decide on what flood mitigation work they want done, we then we as Federal and State Government need to help them in implementing that, but they need come to us and tell us what they want to do."
On a positive note, Mr Hogan said he thinks the community came together really well during a time of enormous stress and devastation.
"There was a lot of good will, a lot of neighbour helping neighbour and people helping people who they didn't even know.
"I think there are a few months before we are fully operational if you like, I think it will be hopefully by Christmas you will see almost back to what it was, but there is still a way to go with that."