Fears come flooding back for South Club

SECRETARY-manager of the South Grafton District Ex-Servicemen's Club Col Green has expressed concerns over the damage that could be caused in a flood after the new bridge pylons are erected.

"If the new bridge is in place, it's going to give us ... four inches more water, so therefore we will gain eight (inches) maybe more through the club," Mr Green said.

The Roads and Maritime Service has said the dispersal by the new pylons will account for the water level raising approximately an extra four inches.

Last time the South Club flooded, four inches of water came into the venue which kept it closed for two days.

Now with the construction of the new Grafton bridge pending, Mr Green and other club members were concerned the dispersal of those extra inches will increase water damage to the club.

"With eight it could be weeks because it could affect a lot of our electrical work," Mr Green said.

In previous years, South Club has been restricted by the flood damage in regards to the grants and funding they give to the local community.

"At this stage through our grants we give away around $13,000 a year, and it probably means that wouldn't happen. It would have to go back into the club," Mr Green said.

He said the mulch soil packed around the foundations had been washed away by previous floods and each time the Clarence River water levels rise, more of this soil was displaced.

Mr Green said the club has had two meetings with RMS, in which a proposal of a levee wall being placed between the river and the club was discussed.

According to Mr Green, the current cost of this would be $2 million, which the RMS said would not be an option.

The South Club has been a part of the flood levee wall since its construction.

According to Mr Green, a levee in front of the club would have cost approximately $200,000 to erect at the time of construction in the 1970s but council at the time decided to save the money and incorporate the club as part of the levee wall.

Despite conversations with the Clarence Valley Council, NSW Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis and the RMS, the South Club has received no funding or help to protect the club from damage in future floods.

The RMS has said they were taking steps to identify ways to reduce the impact made by the pylons for the new Grafton bridge which includes work to the levee system and engineering design of the bridge.

"The project team will continue to work with surrounding property owners and businesses to identify options to reduce any impact," a RMS spokesperson said.

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