MEETING: NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian meets with Lismore mayor Isaac Smith and National's candidate for Lismore, Austin Curtin, as well as being harassed by protesters in Koala suites at the press conference site.
MEETING: NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian meets with Lismore mayor Isaac Smith and National's candidate for Lismore, Austin Curtin, as well as being harassed by protesters in Koala suites at the press conference site. Marc Stapelberg

Premier promises to stop future floods in CBD

AS the second anniversary of the 2017 floods fast approaches, the NSW Government is only now offering support to help with future flood mitigation.

After promising $8.2 million to create a flood mitigation plan for Lismore in November last year, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Lismore yesterday to commit the funding for the project, which will be carried out by Lismore City Council.

The plan will include excavating 410,000 cubic metres of soil from behind the Lismore airport to channel Leycester Creek into the floodplain.

Ms Berejiklian said the flood mitigation plan will provide security for current and future businesses in the Lismore CBD.

"We know one of the biggest challenges and the growth of further investment in Lismore is making sure we protect the city against major flooding,” she said.

"Very recently the state government and the council signed a deed which means that the money the state government had set aside to support flood mitigation in Lismore will become a reality.

"We know the business community wants to invest in this town, we don't want to see businesses go north, we want them to stay and invest in Lismore.

"With the certainty this mitigation will do, which involves the removal significant amounts of soil to ensure that when there is rising floodwaters, it won't accelerate the water coming into the city.”

Lismore City Mayor Isaac Smith said this flood mitigation plan was a "no brainer” for council to start as soon as possible.

"It's a discussion Lismore has had for about 60-70 years, since the discussion of a channel first started,” Cr Smith said.

"Now with modern engineering that's why the opportunity is here now.”

Work is expected to start within weeks, or as soon as the council decides to start the project. "We've signed the deed, we've started works with public works and people will see things starting to happen,” Cr Smith said.

"This $8.2 million will transform the the Lismore CBD, and it's a project that will happen in a very short period of time and it will happen before we get another flood.”

Nationals candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin also welcomed the the mitigation plan.

"This is the most important project in Lismore now,” he said.