Lismore flood report 'a starting point'

Flood clean-up on Molesworth Street.
Flood clean-up on Molesworth Street. Marc Stapelberg

A REPORT canvassing a series of ideas to strengthen Lismore's flood preparedness, response and recovery was labelled a starting point to better protecting the regional centre in natural disasters.

The Lismore Business Flood Recovery Taskforce in its review of the March 31 flood tabled more than 20 recommendations from six key findings in the Counting the Cost and Facing the Future report, which was released on Friday.

Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Deborah Benhayon was one of nine members of the taskforce, chaired by NSW Small Business Commissioner, Robyn Hobbs.

Ms Benhayon said the recommendations weren't finalised with the need for further discussions to refine the proposed solutions.

She emphasised the report is one of many reviews being conducted into the one-in-generation flood, which devastated the region about three months ago.

"The report forms one part of the next phases which is then how do we utilise the different agencies, departments and funding opportunities to rebuild and what's needed to create a sustainable economy for Lismore," Ms Benhayon said.

Lismore Flood Ready, a partnering project to create a Lismore flood preparation and recovery plan, served as the centrepiece of the report.

The report warned the "plethora of post-flood evaluations ... by multiple agencies that will likely result in uncoordinated outcomes unless the intelligence gathered is shared and synthesised at a single point".

Critical to Lismore Flood Ready's success the report said would be a public workshop, hoped to be held in October, to bring together stakeholders to agree on the way forward.

For Page MP, Kevin Hogan, who was also a member of the taskforce, he said a highlight of the report was a move to bolster flood mitigation programs and research.

He said the levee, built to protect the Lismore CBD against a one-in-ten year flood, wasn't enough to defend the region against future natural disasters.

"If Lismore wants to retain its position as a major regional centre, we can't flood every ten years," Mr Hogan said.

In the long term, Mr Hogan said mitigation would save the State and Federal Government millions of dollars in flood repair.

Lismore mayor and taskforce member, Isaac Smith said heads of emergency services would be informed about the report findings and recommendations.

The taskforce is expected to meet again in August.

Topics:  flood review lismore city council lismore flood northern rivers floods northern rivers natural disaster

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