When the levee breaks, this is the result.
When the levee breaks, this is the result. Cath Adams

Lismore is national flood research hub

DEFENDING Lismore and the Northern Rivers region against devastating floods is at the centre of research underway by numerous experts.

Rous County Council, which is also represented on the Lismore Floodplain Risk Management Committee, is one of the key bodies conducting studies focused on minimising the impact of future flooding.

The council has applied for a State Government grant to update and review the Lismore's City Council area flood mitigation risk management plan. Modelling of the March flood event is also been undertaken by the council to help inform the committee's future management strategies.

Manager of planning and delivery Michael McKenzie said part of the update would involve assessing the heights of the CBD and South Lismore levees.

He said the council wants to also explore redirecting water "around the town as opposed to trying to channel it through the river systems” in a bid to reduce flood damage.

Specifically, Mr McKenzie identified directing future floodwaters from the Leycester Creek system to around the rear of the Lismore Airport.

He said the grant approval is expected to be determined before Christmas.

Acting general manager Guy Bezrouchko said the council would try to work towards meeting Page MP Kevin Hogan's aspiration to next year present a flood mitigation strategy to State and Federal Governments to help initiate.

Beyond Rous County Council, Mr McKenzie and Mr Bezrouchko said there was "promising work” bubbling away at Southern Cross University.

The university has prepared to launch the National Centre for Flood Research, a consortium of universities from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands and Japan.

Pro-vice chancellor engagement Ben Roche said the Lismore-based initiative aims to help guide flood management practice and policy nationally and internationally.

He said the centre is expected to begin some of its research projects by next month.

One of the major projects Mr Roche said would involve building "a more responsive and contemporary flood model” to mitigate flood risk.

Talks about mitigation come after it was highlighted those strategies were left out of last week's Flood Ready project charrette talks.

Speaking to the Northern Star last week, Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said the floodplain committee had a "good handle” on the "mitigation factor”.

He stressed mitigation was a conversation to be had with experts and not at the community charrette, which was centred on strengthening flood preparedness and recovery.