Contaminated soil at Beardow Street in Lismore Heights after a landslide due to heavy rain.
Contaminated soil at Beardow Street in Lismore Heights after a landslide due to heavy rain. Marc Stapelberg

The major issue council will discuss behind closed doors

COUNCILLORS will be discussing the status of flood restoration works and how they will get funding from state and federal governments at a meeting closed to the public on Tuesday night.

Lismore City Council will hold an Extra Ordinary Meeting at the Council Chambers on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 6.30pm, where the sole item on the agenda relates to Beardow Street, Lismore Heights and the Status of Flood Restoration Works - Major Roadside Landslip.

The agenda stated 'discussion of this matter in an open meeting would on balance be contrary to the public interest because it relates to: information that would, if disclosed, confer a commercial advantage on a person with whom the Council is conducting (or proposes to conduct) business.'

Mayor Isaac Smith said the meeting would be confidential because of the nature of the items up for discussion regarding the complexities of issues involving the Beardow St land-slip.

"Because the property boarders a number of properties there is a chance that individual property owners might be discussed,” he said.

"We are still in discussion with state and federal governments about how to find some kind of resolution.”

At the previous council meeting on April 9, Lismore Heights landowner Ken Allport council to buy his Beardow St property which has contaminated land.

Mr Allport addressed the council during its public access session about the ongoing flood restoration works after a major landslip at Beardow St, Lismore Heights.

He also presented councillors with a two-page handout which documented the issue, together with details of a related matter concerning contaminated land from the Lismore Gas Works in 2001.

In January 2019 the Northern Star revealed this landslip which came in the wake of Cyclone Debbie, was found to contain toxic heavy metals and asbestos.

The slip was so severe that one of the houses on Beardow St is not accessible by car and is now up for sale, and the soil was found too contaminated to be disposed of in Northern NSW, so remains idle on a Lismore Heights block while council awaits funding to remove it.

Restoration works on privately owned land at 22 New Ballina Rd involving the excavation of the landslip and reformation of the embankment along Beardow St began in August 2018, but works halted when historic industrial waste including coke and slag like materials, as well as bonded asbestos, was encountered.

Tests found concentrations of some chemicals in soils within the embankment exceeded the levels safe for current and future land uses, and the material was unsuitable for disposal to landfill facilities in northern NSW.

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