A new flood channel behind the Masters home improvement store in Lismore will help guard the city against flooding, according to Lismore City Council.
The flood channel is predicted to result in a 100mm reduction in a 1-in-100 year flood, with modeling showing it could also extend the time available to evacuate the central business district.
The modeling shows that North and South Lismore would also benefit, along with the CBD.
The Wilsons River Channel Improvement Project was initially identified back in 2000, however no funding was available for the project, which involved removing 76,000m3 of soil from a meander terrace to facilitate downstream flood flows.
Lismore City Council’s strategic property project manager Lindsay Walker said when Masters proposed to build on the land, council staff saw the potential for a win-win situation.
Masters excavated the 100-metre floodway and used the fill for building pads on its site and at Quayside Motors, eliminating the need to truck in fill to raise the land above the 1-in-100-year flood level.
‘Council put up one third of the development application costs and for that expenditure got a massive improvement in our flood flows and that whole section of riverbank is now transformed with the removal of coral trees and the planting of 4000 natives,’ Mr Walker said.
‘We hope the channel will have a significant impact on the severity and length of flooding both in the CBD and to the west to the city.
‘If you look behind Masters at present, the channel is simply dry land. But come a flood, that channel will allow water to flow downstream much quicker.
‘This project was a great opportunity and outcome for the city.’
The project was an initiative of the council’s Floodplain Management Committee, the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Lismore SES and Richmond River County Council.
NSW SES acting region controller Wayne Pettit said the NSW SES supported proactive initiatives to better protect communities during flooding.
‘The development of mitigation measures that reduce the impact of flooding on Lismore is great news for the local community and welcomed by the NSW SES,’ Mr Pettit said.