The Minister for Finance and Services, Greg Pearce and the Nationals Member for Lismore, Thomas George today announced two progress payments totalling almost $580,000 to Richmond River County Council towards the cost of major reconstruction of the Lismore levee.

The levee sustained damage during floods in May 2009 when severe storms hit the region, resulting in a natural disaster declaration.

Minister Pearce said the progress payments follow Council’s completion of the initial stages of the restoration project.

“The Government has offered up to approximately $2.12 million to cover the full list of eligible works and further payments will be made to Council upon completion of works on the levee,” he said.

Thomas George welcomed the grant, which he said ensured the integrity of the levee would be fully restored.

“This is an important piece of public infrastructure that gives protection to Lismore’s commercial district and city centre,” he said.

“I am sure the business sector and the general community also welcome the Government’s assistance with the massive reconstruction bill.

“Most of the damage to the levee was sustained behind the Newtrain Building in Club Lane,” Mr George said.

“The restoration has been a very complex exercise, requiring extensive survey and geotechnical investigations to address the instability of river bank on which the levee has to be built.

“The section of the levee had to be realigned and negotiations were necessary with both adjoining landowners and owners of the land on the new alignment.

“Adding to the challenge of getting on with repairs has been a number of more recent storms and flooding which fortunately did not impact on the levee itself, but interrupted works.

“The local office of NSW Public Works is also to be praised for providing technical and project management support to Council and for assisting in securing the natural disaster grant.”

Mr Pearce said there was around $1.5 million in remaining funding for approved works, and payment will be made as the works are completed by Council.

The NSW Public Works arm of the Department of Finance and Services administers the local government assets component of joint Commonwealth and NSW natural disaster relief arrangements.

Under an agreement with the Commonwealth, the NSW Government pays the first $119.7 million of all natural disaster costs in each year. The Commonwealth matches NSW expenditure for costs between $119.7 million and $209.5 million and beyond that pays for three-quarters of all costs.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.