The PM Malcolm Turnbull visits Lismore after heavy flooding smashes the region.
The PM Malcolm Turnbull visits Lismore after heavy flooding smashes the region. Marc Stapelberg

Police discourage taking flood-sodden goods from streets

POLICE are discouraging people from taking possession of flood-sodden goods that have been cleared from buildings onto the streets.

Richmond Local Area Command have had a number of reports of people taking items from the piles of drenched furniture and other items placed on Lismore streets.

Inspector Nicole Bruce said police are discouraging people from procuring the street stuffs with the majority of goods soaked with sewage-infected flood waters and other hazardous content such as asbestos.

"They are not items to be pick up but items that should be disposed of,” Insp Bruce said.

She said the law states there is a difference between taking abandoned property off the street and picking up property you find.

The latter she said can be classed as stealing.

Insp Bruce said flood-affected residents need to be mindful of that crucial difference as they clear out their sodden buildings.

"If items are abandoned, store and home owners are asked to make that clear the best they can,” she said.

Lismore City Council together with police are encouraging residents to separate their piles between recyclables and waste to help expedite the waste disposal process.

80 NSW Fire Service trucks and more than 500 staff were deployed for use in Lismore yesterday to begin systematically moving across the city hosing out homes and businesses.

Insp Bruce urged the community that "the crisis isn't over” and for residents to remain vigilant of their safety as the town enters recovery mode.

Police have increased their presence in the Lismore CBD with on foot patrols and highway patrol cars monitoring the area.