Topics:  bushgrove, clarence valley council, legal action, levee

Levee battle gets serious

BRUSHGROVE resident Rod Morrison is threatening to push for legal action on getting a levee to protect the residents of Brushgrove.

Irate after years of what he claims is stalling from Clarence Valley Council, he has contacted Sydney legal firm Somerset & Ryckmans to instigate a class action against the council.

"I want to show them I'm fair dinkum about this," Mr Morrison said.

"They don't seem to take it seriously unless there's legal action involved."

He claims a levee to stop a one-in-20-year flood would have been enough to protect the village from every flood in the past 30 years.

"Council agrees with me in principle on this, but because they have a preferred option of house-raising, when it comes to this issue they can't get matching funding from the State Government," he said.

"That's inequitable. There are only two houses that qualify. What about all the other residents that will be flooded unless they build this levee?

"The State Government has said all Council has to do is drop the house-raising option and they can come to the party with the funding."

"Originally the work was costed at around $1 million; now it's $3.5 million," he said.

"The longer they delay, the more it's going to cost."

Mr Morrison said the basis of the claim was the aim of the Federal and State governments' flood mitigation legislation which promised a solution for all stakeholders in the Clarence Valley.

"If the Council's policy goes against this aim, then I believe we have a case," he said.

Mr Morrison said the law firm will come back to him with a quote for the action and he will then call a public meeting and put the proposition to residents.

Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson said Council has an application with the State Government for funding to review the Lower Clarence Flood Mitigation Plan.

He said if that is successful council will be able to review its options on the construction of a levee.

A decision is expected before the end of the financial year.



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