LOOKING BACK: Lismore Chamber of Commerce co-president Sarah Smith and Lismore City Council general manger Shelley Oldham turn the first sod of the $8.2 million flood mitigation project in South Lismore. Three months on from this photo
LOOKING BACK: Lismore Chamber of Commerce co-president Sarah Smith and Lismore City Council general manger Shelley Oldham turn the first sod of the $8.2 million flood mitigation project in South Lismore. Three months on from this photo Aisling Brennan

When will Lismore be flood safe?

THREE months after the ceremonial sod-turning at the site of the new Lismore floodway, work is still to officially begin on the flood mitigation project which would protect the city from future extensive water damage.

Expected to be completed by October 2020, Lismore City Council announced this month its timetable for the flood diversion channel, which would see works undertaken to divert floodwaters away from business and residential areas by widening an existing drain on council-owned land north of Lismore Regional Airport.

Earlier this year, former Lismore MP Thomas George announced $8.2 million would be provided to the council by the State Government to complete stage one of the critical project.

But despite the symbolic sod turning photo opportunity in March, much is still needed to do before a shovel will strike the ground for real.

Stage one of the flood mitigation plan would see about 410,000 cubic metres of soil excavated to divert overflow from Leycester Creek around the airport, reducing peak flood levels throughout the CBD, North and South Lismore in a one in 100 year event.

The overflow would re-enter the river system below the city, providing residents and businesses with more time to plan their evacuation in major flood events.

Timetable for the flood mitigation project:

  • August 2019: Appointment of project manager for procurement and construction, detailed project planning and specification finalisation and contractor/s appointed.
  • November 2019: Site establishment and physical commencement.
  • March 2020: 50 per cent of excavation works completed.
  • October 2020: Completion of physical work.