News

Anxiety continues over flood levees

Houses along the riverbank of the Clarence River in Grafton protected by a levee during one of the 2013 floods.
Houses along the riverbank of the Clarence River in Grafton protected by a levee during one of the 2013 floods. Jojo Newby

GREAT Marlow and Southgate farmers say plans to raise the height of levee banks upstream of the Grafton bridge could be a disaster for them, but no one is listening.

Yesterday more than 15 of them gathered at the home of Greg Nicholls, at Great Marlow, to discuss what they could do about it.

Some, like Nita Childs, have lived in the area for five decades and can remember the region flooding without levees.

Others, like Paul Brotherson, bought land in the area in the past decade and have paid the price of enduring four floods in five years.

Some of them had been to the RMS staffed display of its second Grafton bridge on Wednesday night to discuss their issues.

However, none of them were satisfied with the answers they received.

Bill Holroyd, who has a property in Butters Lane on Alipou Creek, said he asked for a guarantee the southern bridge approaches, which will be close to his property, won't affect him.

"They told me there would be no more water through the property, so I said, 'good, you can give it to me in writing'," Mr Holroyd said.

Mr Holroyd's experience with the levees has not been good. He said since the construction of the Heber St levee in South Grafton in 1996 an extra 900mm of water goes through his place in a flood.

"Show me the EIS that says an extra 900mm of water will go through my property," he said. "You can't because there isn't one."

He said construction of the levee began without an EIS in 1994 and the study was only done after it was finished.

Mr Brotherson, who bought a riverfront property on Great Marlow Rd about 10 years ago, said silting in the river was a huge issue.

"The last flood left about one and a half foot of mud and sand on the bank," he said.

"If there's that much on the bank, how much is building up in the river?"

Nita Childs has lived in Southgate all her life and sees off countless floods, but the 2013 inundation scared her.

"Normally the flood hits here 12 to 24 hours after it peaks in Grafton, but this time it flooded here before the Grafton peak," she said.

"It was because there were breaks in the levee wall."

Now she is worried the levee is still in need of repair and could fail again in the next flood.

Topics:  clarence river, flood, grafton, levee banks




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bronwyn Bancroft’s Colours of Australia

Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.

Colourful Australia opened at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

It's time to bring out the winter woolies

Grafton's Clarence St shrouded in fog this morning. Photo was taken slightly after 8am.Photo Matthew McInerney / Daily Examiner

Cooler overnight temperatures here to stay

Pair paddles 60km to highlight depression

DETERMINED: Will Brighton and Todd Ives in Yamba during their 60km paddle from Woody Head to Wooli.

Will Brighton and Todd Ives share rewarding experience on the water

Latest deals and offers

Bronwyn Bancroft's Colours of Australia

Artist Bronwyn Bancroftin front of one of her works in her exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery Colours of Australia.

Artist Bronwyn Bancroft's exhibition Colours of Australia is introduced by her...

Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce tour Rockhampton sweet potato farm

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce visit a...

Men's Shed possum boxes

(back l-r) David Abrahams, Frank heppell, Warren Moss, Kevin Wtkins and (front) Darcy Knight with some of the possum boxes the Grafton Men's Shed are making for the new highway construction.

Grafton Men's Shed members have made 65 possum boxes for Eco Logical Australia to...

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest