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Byron Shire
March 25, 2023

$5 million to improve Northern Rivers rural drainage systems

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Damaged rural drainage systems will be cleaned out, repaired and fitted with mechanisms that will reduce the impacts of future flooding, thanks to the Australian and NSW governments’ $5 million Northern Rivers Drainage Reset Program.

The program is part of the $150-million Primary Industry Support Package, co-funded under the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin at the launch of the NSW Flood Inquiry in Lismore.

‘I welcome this modest grant as will our local farmers, as it can start to address a long-term legacy issue,’ State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said.

‘It is recognition that this is a major issue that needs to be addressed in the overall mitigation plans yet to come. A welcome small reset,’ Ms Saffin said.

‘I have advocated on this matter across all local government areas of the Lismore Electorate. Here in Lismore alone, Lismore City Council in 2016 had a drains maintenance backlog of some $23 million.’

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said the program would support the recovery of Northern Rivers primary producers in the sugarcane, horticulture, rice, soybeans, beef and dairy industries who continue to be impacted by flood-damaged drainage systems.

‘This program will provide an injection of funds to improve priority drainage channels, reducing the immediate risks to agricultural assets and surrounding communities in future flood events,’ Minister Watt said.

‘The funding will focus on the cleaning and treatment of sediment in drains to assist in the movement of water through these river systems.

‘This represents the practical and tangible ways we’re improving the longer-term flood resilience of this region.’

The $5-million Northern Rivers Drainage Reset Program is being administered by Regional NSW in partnership with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation, and will be rolled-out by local councils.

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  1. Barrages on the mouths of every river going into the sea is really the only course of action worth thinking about because it would stop the incoming tide holding back the out going flood waters that is causing so much flooding out of the rivers into farm land upstream .
    Barrages could be built elsewhere on a slipway or in a drydock and floated and towed to the mouth of a river and then sunk into position and other work connecting them to the river bank be carried out by local contractors .
    Waterwheels could be installed in the construction of each section to provide round the clock power from each tidal flow


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