Part of the crowd at the flood community forum.
Part of the crowd at the flood community forum.

Community questions flood forum

BOAMBEE development; Park Beach drainage; pipe dimensions and changing land-use were among the many topics questioners brought up at the Coffs Harbour City Council’s Flood Response Community Forum on Tuesday.

Watson’s Caravans joint proprietor, Faye Watson, whose business is located on the corner of the Pacific Highway and North Boambee Road, told Mayor Keith Rhoades and general manager Stephen Sawtell that there was a severe flooding problem in that area, which affected Keona Circuit and Mansbridge Drive, as well.

“North Boambee Road went under four or five times in 2009,” Mrs Watson said.

“It now does not need severe rainfall to go under.”

Mrs Watson said they were moving vans on their site in November when a truck had to reverse back on to the highway with the traffic lights on green after it had turned into North Boambee Road in the pitch dark, only to find the road more than a metre under water.

“When we read information in the paper (about flood mitigation plans) we never see a mention of our area in the pipeline,” she said.

“The highway is acting as a wall.”

Council general manager Stephen Sawtell said Coffs Harbour City Council staff were discussing drainage issues in the area with the Roads and Traffic Authority.

Bonville resident Barry Lee said Mrs Watson had neglected to mention that the council had approved the development of ‘three buildings and 390 car parks to be bitumenised’ on the hill above this section of North Boambee Road, while at Bonville the last two floods had affected Lyons Road and Archville Station Road and the proposed 350 new buildings on the Bonville Golf Resort land would exacerbate flooding.

Former Coffs Harbour mayor John Smith said the problems developing in the Boambee basin would dwarf the problems already being experienced in the Coffs Creek catchment and would also have repercussions outside the city, because they involved two crucial facilities – the Base Hospital and the airport.

The meeting at 7pm on Tuesday at C.ex Coffs (formerly the Coffs Harbour Ex-Services Club) was chaired by the mayor Cr Keith Rhoades and attracted 130 people, many of them with personal experience of multiple floods.

Mr Sawtell gave details of the council’s nine-point flood mitigation plan, to be financed by loan funds and a proposed rate rise, but said he would not discuss the rate change, which will be discussed by councillors at tonight’s meeting, which begins at 5pm.



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