Was it a lack of care?

FLOODING at Boambee last week was not an Act of God but a lack of care, according to a property developer.

Sydney property developer and part owner of a Linden Avenue home Peter Lubrano claims flood damage to Boambee was worse than the 1996 floods because stormwater routes were not properly maintained by Coffs Harbour City Council.

“The consequences have adversely affected many properties for which development and rates levies have been paid, in the fair and reasonable expectation that public services will be maintained,” Mr Lubrano said. “The disaster is not an Act of God but a lack of care.”

Mr Lubrano said two major inlets on the upstream side of the Linden Avenue bridge were obstructed during the flood event, all three downstream outlets at the bridge had a build-up of weed mat and silt, and the concrete spillway at the weir was clogged with vegetation build-up that raised the overflow level of Spoonbill Lake.

“A combination of all these restrictions to flow prevented the stormwater runoff from getting away quickly enough,” he said.

“At the peak of the water height, the toilet bowls of our property overflowed with sewage - in 1996, the water didn't reach our property.”

A spokesperson for Coffs Harbour City Council said council is only responsible for downstream of Linden Avenue, as upstream is private property.

The spokesperson said debris was cleaned from Linden Avenue bridge as far as the private property four months ago, while the bridge's outlet culverts were last cleared six months ago.



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