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Byron Shire
March 5, 2021

Elephant in the River

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It is good that the Nationals wish to support a best practise Flood Mitigation Strategy for Lismore and I feel sorry that they have jumped the gun and not realised that Lismore City Council in their wisdom is carefully considering a whole range of options other than those reported.

The elephant in the river when talking about flood mitigation is the extensive changes we have and continue to make to the watershed and the floodplains. These have also had a major detrimental impact on non-flood flows and river water quality in general.

There is a strong need for a holistic plan which involves addressing these changes and their impact on river flows and quality on a watershed scale, rather than isolating the problem to an engineering one.

The article quotes a councillor estimating that reactively, we collectively spent about 200-300 million dollars repairing damage, supporting the community from that last single flood.  Surely if this kind of loss is anticipated every so many years, we could use our noggins and strategically spend that sort of money investing it into an improved watershed.

You could turn a big problem that is not going away soon, and recurrent waste of money into a big growth opportunity – perhaps even new rural industry. ‘Ï run a viable farm whose business is improved river flows and quality’ – I am sure even the Nationals would love to hear that. 

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