Southgate in need of flood relief

A FORMER Southgate dairy farmer says Clarence Valley Council should be offering more money to home owners in Southgate to raise their homes above flood level.

Eddie Smith was responding to a recent story in The Daily Examiner that said subsidies of up to $50,000 would be made available for Brushgrove residents to raise their homes above flood level.

Mr Smith, who recently retired and moved to Grafton, spent his entire life in Southgate and said the $15,000 on offer to Southgate residents was not enough.

He said the levee walls that were built in Grafton and South Grafton a decade ago had caused flooding problems for Southgate residents.

Mr Smith said that in 2001, water flowing down river had caused Southgate homes to incur higher levels of flooding than ever before.

“It was the first time we ever lost fences,” Mr Smith said.

“After the levee was built, the water rose twice as fast, so our time to move the cattle out was halved,” he said.

“And the bridge in Ferry Lane had its approaches washed away. It had probably been there for 100 years.”

Clarence Valley Council deputy general manager (civil and corporate) Rob Donges said the Lower Clarence Floodplain Risk Management study recognised Brushgrove as a special case.

He said Clarence Valley Council agreed with the recommendation to make extra money available to raise the eight-to-10 houses in Brushgrove because the houses were built on a low-level island and had been 'an area of concern' for some time.

He said council was currently compiling a 'priority list' which would be submitted to the NSW and Federal Governments, along with a funding application.

“After the levee was built, the water rose twice as fast ”



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