Lismore and the surrounding area yesterday received just under half of more than $2 million in state funds granted towards the cost of clean-ups and repairs to public infrastructure.
The damage was caused by storms and flooding over the past three years.
Richmond River County Council (RRCC) recently lodged claims for the work that has so far been completed and series of payments totalling $763,567 were announced by finance and services minister Greg Pearce and Lismore MP Thomas George yesterday.
The largest payment, of $600,000 will help meet the cost of reconstructing a section of the city’s levee, which sustained damage during floods in May 2009.
Minister Pearce said the latest progress payment in relation to the levee follows Council’s completion of the third stage of the restoration project.
‘The government offered approximately $2.12 million to cover the full list of eligible works and further payments will be made once RRCC completes the remaining stages,’ he said.
A second cheque for $130,095 is the initial progress payment to meet the cost of repairs to the South Lismore Drain, which carries floodwaters away from the industrial estate and airport, after it was damaged in January last year.
A third cheque for $33,472 has also been sent to Council to meet the full cost of emergency works as a result of a flood early this year.
‘These are important pieces of public infrastructure that give protection to Lismore’s city centre and adjacent areas,’ said MP Thomas George.
‘The restoration of the levee, in particular, has been a very complex exercise, requiring extensive survey and geotechnical investigations to address the instability of the riverbank on which the levee has to be built.
‘Adding to the challenge of getting on with the repairs has been the number of severe storms and flooding that have interrupted the works schedule.
‘I thank the local office of NSW Public Works for providing technical and project management support to Council and for assisting in securing the natural disaster grants,’ Mr George said.
Under an agreement with the Commonwealth, the NSW government pays the first $119.7 million of all natural-disaster costs in each year. The Commonwealth matches NSW expenditure for costs between $119.7 million and $209.5 million and beyond that pays for three-quarters of all costs.
Would love to see Lismore council do an up to date flood study with some of the money as the waver that they have now is no help to anyone.