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Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Mullum’s housing ark

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Matthew Lambourne, Mullumbimby

The Echo’s report last week on Council’s ‘affordable housing’ proposal contains a significant error. It says the report by WMAwater ‘assesses the potential flood issues’; it doesn’t do this, it only assesses the flooding impact of filling the proposed blocks, and finds that this will increase flooding in some neighbouring residential areas.

Despite advice from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), the report does not assess the flooding impact of building the roads that will obviously be necessary to enable residents of these raised blocks to get to a flood refuge in the event of a really big flood.

The report also doesn’t assess the impact the proposal will have on surrounding areas in a full range of flood events. Again, despite the advice of OEH to make this assessment. In addition, the NSW State Emergency Services (SES) have said that ‘the NSW SES… does not support Council’s proposal to rezone the land to allow residential development.’

As I write this, the radio is reporting the release of CSIRO and BOM’s latest State of the Climate Report with dire warnings of more extreme weather events in the future, and yet another typhoon is devastating the Philippines (the fourth or fifth in as many weeks?).

Council’s proposal to put hundreds of potentially flood-liable houses on the floodplain, in addition to all those already there in Mullumbimby, is simply stupid.

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