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Byron Shire
September 18, 2021

Overflow channel could spare Lismore CBD in future flood

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Lismore mayor Isaac Smith says plans to channel Leycester Creek overflow away from the town will reduce flood risk and increase business confidence.

Lismore mayor Isaac Smith has welcomed the announcement of $8.2 million from the NSW Government for flood mitigation works, saying it could bolster renewed business growth.

The flood mitigation funds will be used to excavate 410,000 cubic metres of soil from behind the Lismore Airport in order to channel Leycester Creek overflow into the floodplain.

Mayor Smith said the reduced risk of flood would boost industry confidence and allow Lismore City Council to seek funding and explore opportunities to create an ‘activation hub’.

‘We’re excited to explore the creation of an activation hub and investigate bringing industry to Lismore including increased transport, freight, aviation and value adding for local agricultural production,’ Mayor Smith said.

‘As a regional city we have the ability and potential to support large industry hubs – having flood-free land means we can accelerate that growth and we have a good case to bring state and national industry to Lismore. That would be an enormous boost for the city.’


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  1. It would be a disaster if to do this they ripped a hole through our train lines.
    We need public transport more than ever or this city will never progress.

    • We certainly do need public transport in this region, but suggesting the rail lines are needed to provide it is quite erroneous. Rail transport was closed because it was too expensive, it does not serve the areas where most transport dependent people live , does not follow the busiest commuter routes, and offers no advantages in respect of the environment, safety or in transport for the disabled. Unlike trains, electric buses currently used in Australia can run all day for hundreds of kms on renewable power. A network of more frequent regular, disabled friendly, renewable powered electric buses targeted at the busiest commuter routes and the public transport dependent populations, will much better serve our transport needs and our transition to renewable transport. By making their charging facilities available to the public we can also provide strong support to the transition to renewable powered cars.

      The completion of the motorway to Sydney also opens opportunities for improved long distance transport with faster express coach links from our area to connect with planned higher speed trains from Sydney to Coffs, and to QLD gauge rail services at Tweed Heads. We do not need to be wedded to rail to provide better and more sustainable transport in our area.

  2. We really do need the rail through Lismore. Our property values and quality of future life depend on it. Few people would choose bus / coach travel over rail and rail transport is safer as well.

  3. The train line embankments contributed to the devastation caused by the 2017 flood – they channeled the water towards the Lismore showgrounds thereby backing the water up. The railway embankments need to be removed. Bring on the overflow channel.

  4. I was a shop owner during the 1989 flood. This experience prompted me to write to the then mayor suggesting that a channel be dug behind the airport to so that the Leycester Creek water would bypass the town. I’ m excited to know that my letter has eventually been read and acted upon by the mayor.
    I also suggested, in my letter, that this channel could be designed to be used as an international rowing an kayaking course which have certain specifications easily achived while cutting this cannal.
    This could also bring internatioal sporting events to the area as well as a permanent training venue which Australia has very few of.
    Great for local business.

  5. When I see a three D computer rendered model I’ll believe the plausibility of this plan else it’s just another expensive hole in the ground.

  6. Does anyone think about the people down stream this plan is going to devastate? A channel sounds very nice and kayaks sound very nice. But the council has big plans for increasing freight coming into Lismore and many more planes and trucks so that channel is out of bounds. The plan is going to destroy any residential pleasure of living in Lismore. This water needs to be diverted away from down stream it is smashing the banks and our homes since they sped up the river behind Bunnings already. If this plan is going to happen it will have to be at the expense of our properties and potentially our lives down river. Pump the water out west to the farmers not just around the cbd to smash us to death down stream. Have they thought about a channel going all the way to the sea. That is the only way this will work. Not just a short channel that drives water into peoples properties a few kms from cbd.


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