‘Today is the day we stop building on the floodplain’ says online petition

ABOVE: The Rileys Hill Rd site where development of 6o blocks is proposed.

Susanna Freymark

Broadwater resident Sophie Morgan-Smith has started an online petition to reject the development proposal for 60 house blocks at Rileys Hill Rd , Broadwater.

This land is a floodplain that was 5.33 metres under water in the February-March floods in 2022, Ms Morgan-Smith said.

“Less than six months ago, the State Premier supported the flood inquiry saying, ‘Today is the day we stop building on the floodplain’.”

Sophie is adamant we need to learn from mistakes that have been made in the past about where we build houses.

The change.org petition has more than 200 signatures so far.

“We need politicians to keep their word. We need more affordable housing in the Northern Rivers area but developing on a known floodplain and water storage area is not the place to do it,” Ms Morgan-Smith said.

“Is the Richmond Valley Council or the developer going to compensate all existing houses if they now flood in minor/moderate floods that would normally not affect them or not as significantly due to drainage, water run-off, removal of water storage?

“Is the Richmond Valley Council or the developer going to compensate future land/home buyers if they are devastated by future flooding due to the fact that it was knowingly built on a floodplain?”

At a community meeting with consultants for the development in Broadwater on February 7, there were few answers to questions like these. Here’s the story about that meeting.

Why would you propose to develop on a floodplain that was 5.33 metres under water in the biggest flood on record for our area? Ms Morgan-Smith said.

“The houses along Rileys Hill Road and the Broadwater community are still recovering from the devastating damage that the 2022 floods caused, many still living in caravans outside or in shells in their houses.”

A community meeting of residents concerned about development on Rileys Hill Rd. Photos: Susanna Freymark

On the petition Ms Morgan-Smith asks:

What do we want?

Reject the proposed development as flood studies and LEP are outdated.

Politicians to keep their word.

Change the zoning of the land to be appropriate for a floodplain. Other councils have changed zoning of land during the DA assessment period, so the Richmond Valley Council can do the same.

Notice of Motion rejecting the development to be put forward by one councillor to ensure the development is debated and voted at a council meeting where the community is invited.

If you agree with Sophie, sign the petition here.

More information about the DA can be found on the Richmond Valley Council website: search for DA2023/0100 – 59 Rileys Hill Road, Broadwater – Richmond Valley Council

Written submissions need to be in by February 18 and can be emailed to council@richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au

It was under water a year ago, now developer wants 60-plus homes on it

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