John Hayter, Tintenbar
It came as no surprise to seasoned valley landholders when ex-Cyclone Debbie swept in from the coast and brought Lismore to its knees with horrific flooding in March 2017.
Decades of floodplain interference had left the city as a sitting duck, helplessly awaiting the flooding onslaught from a highly urbanised upper catchment powering down from as far afield as the border ranges and Coopers Shoot above Byron Bay.
Just completed is an $8.2 million channel running west of the airport in the hope of regaining some form of floodplain normality.
No such luck in the adjoining Ballina Shire, housing a similar floodplain format as Lismore. Ongoing is an opposite floodplain policy sprouting a relentless wetland landfill to the disdain of shire residents.
Prior to the Ballina Bypass start, residents attended flood meetings and begged for sufficient viaducts to guarantee the natural flow. This never happened.
The bypass then proceeded, entailing a myriad of additional floodplain landfills including a future mini-bypass foundation through the Ballina floodplain.
This blunder was soon highlighted when ex-Cyclone Debbie struck and choked the Cumbalum underpass.
Jammed behind, lay the Tintenbar Valley and Old Bangalow Road, being the only road not upgraded to cope with an almighty bypass landfill forming the third Pacific Highway across its lowlands.
Constantly undermining the area is a council tractor and slasher gouging out the original levee embankment to the point of collapse.
Of grave concern is wastewater released into Emigrant Creek from expanding Cumbalum housing estates pushing upstream and over the road on every high tide to scour my farm.
The latest ploy by state and council officials sees lowland farmers demonised as scapegoats while developers reign supreme.
An urgent upgrade to Old Bangalow Road and surrounds is well overdue, similar to what was done for nearby Cumbalum Lane and fully warranted in the first place.