Richmond River County Council
Floodplain Services
PO Box 230
Lismore NSW 2480

Ph: 02 6623 3891

Agency Information Guide


Agency Information Guide


About us

Richmond River County Council was constituted by Proclamation on 25 November 1959 and has been delegated with the responsibility for flood mitigation activities for Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley councils. Council’s Proclamation was amended most recently on 5 September 2008, when natural resource management in relation to flood mitigation activities was formally incorporated as a Council function.

Council is responsible for exercising powers and duties under the Local Government Act 1993 in relation to the prevention or mitigation of menace to the safety of life or property from floods and natural resource management issues arising therefrom on behalf of the constituent councils of Lismore City, Ballina Shire and Richmond Valley. This involves a coordinating role in floodplain management, working with constituent councils, state and commonwealth agencies, university researchers, and floodplain industries to develop long-term effective natural resource management strategies for the Richmond River floodplain and estuary.

Council is responsible for the construction and replacement of flood mitigation infrastructure, including the routine maintenance of various canals and floodgates. This includes:

  • 113 drainage canals totalling over 198km in length
  • 1127 flood control structures such as floodgates and culverts
  • 79 levees totalling 78km in length
  • 6 pump stations used to reduce flooding in Lismore (located at Browns, Hollingsworth and Gasworks creeks)
  • A concrete fixed weir to restrict the flow of salt water from the Evans River (located in Tuckombil Canal, 1km south of Woodburn on the Pacific Highway)
  • South Lismore levee totalling 5.5km in length – designed to protect South Lismore in the event of a 1 in 10 year flood.

Council’s decision-making function affects the public most significantly through its flood mitigation activities.


Organisational structure

Membership of the Council is drawn from the councils of Ballina, Lismore and Richmond Valley.

The current representatives of the member councils are as follows:

Ballina Shire Council Lismore City Council Richmond Valley Council
Cr David Wright
Cr Graham Meineke Cr Steve Morrissey
Cr Ben Smith Cr Neil Marks
(Deputy Chair)
Cr Sandra Humphrys

The functions of General Manager are undertaken conjointly under an arrangement with Rous Water. Administrative services are provided by Rous Water on a fee-for-service basis.

For a copy of Council’s organisational structure please click here and scroll to page 5.

A copy of the information posted onto the Richmond River County Council website can also be requested in person from the Rous Water Administration Centre, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore NSW 2480 between 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. Alternatively you can request a copy be posted to you by emailing, telephoning (02) 6623 3891 or by mailing your request to Richmond River County Council, PO Box 230, Lismore NSW 2480.


Council and public participation in Council policy formulation

Council meetings are held five times each year, commencing at 5pm in the Rous Water Administration Centre, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore. Council meeting dates and business papers can be found under the “Council business papers” heading on the “Documents” page. Business papers are also available from Council’s office and at the relevant Council meeting. Public notice of time and place of Council meetings is advertised in the local paper, the Northern Star, at the beginning of each year. Any variation to Council’s meeting timetable is advertised in the local paper.

Public access is available at the commencement of all Council meetings, whereby members of the public may address Council on matters listed in the business paper relevant for the meeting subject to sections 10A and 10B of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW), which make provision for the closure of meetings in certain circumstances.

Other opportunities for public participation include but are not limited to the following:

  • Access is available to inspect documents and correspondence tabled at or submitted to a Council meeting as well as the minutes to all meetings.
  • Public exhibition is undertaken and an invitation to make submissions issued on a range of policy documents and proposals.


Council information available to the public

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act), Richmond River County Council and all other NSW government agencies are required to publish a range of open access information.

This information includes a disclosure log, policy documents, agency information guide and a register of government contracts.

Council generates and retains a range of records to facilitate its daily operations, including:

  • Legal, corporate governance, financial, commercial and administrative records.
  • Operational records.
  • Human Resources records.
  • Information Technology records.
  • General Manager records.

Information can be provided by open access, proactive release, informal request or a formal application. Release of information is subject to whether there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. Council makes available for inspection those documents that it is required and permitted by law to make available for inspection. Inspection of such documents is free of charge however an administration charge may apply if copies of these documents are required.

Richmond River County Council policies can be viewed here.

The Annual Report is our annual report card providing information on our achievements during the reporting period as well as our financial performance. The report complies with the Local Government Act (NSW) 1993 and contains important information about various aspects of our business.

Council’s Intergrated Planning and Reporting suite of documents provide details of the direction in which Council will be proceeding in each financial year.

The documents provide a forward framework for identifying the priority issues for Council, outcomes proposed to address these issues and the strategies to achieve the outcomes. The Finance section includes detailed estimates of income and expenditure together with Council’s fees and charges.

Returns disclosing the interests of councillors and designated persons under section 449 of the Local Government Act 1993 are available for inspection at the Rous Water Administration Centre (Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore), during ordinary business hours.


Disclosure Log

A disclosure log is a record containing details of government information already released under the GIPA Act. A disclosure log is part of the open access information that agencies are required to make publicly available. Details are entered into the disclosure log when an access application has been decided, and any review time limits have expired.


Contracts Register

Class 1 contracts are those that have, or a likely to have, a value of $150,000 or more.

Class 2 contracts are those where there has not been a public tender process and the terms and conditions of the contract have been negotiated directly with the contractor, or the contract was the subject of a tender (public or not) but the terms have been substantially negotiated with the contractor; the obligations of one or more parties to maintain or operate infrastructure or assets; could continue for ten years or more, and the contract involves a privately financed project or the exchange of significant assets.

Class 3 contracts are Class 2 Contracts that have a value of more than $5 million.


How information is available and how to lodge an application

If you wish to access information that is not publicly available you must complete a GIPA application form and pay a fee of $30 for the application to be assessed. This form is available on this website and at Council’s Administration Centre Reception. Click here to download Council’s GIPA Access application form. This fee includes the first 20 hours of processing time.

Depending on the type of document, information will be supplied to the applicant in either electronic or hardcopy format, or a combination of both.

GIPA applications must be made in writing, accompanied by the $30 application fee and lodged by post to:
The Public Officer
Rous Water (RRCC)
Administration Centre
PO Box 230

Applications may also be lodged in person at the Rous Water Administration Centre, Level 4, 218-232 Molesworth Street, Lismore, between 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

For informal requests for information or to seek amendment of Council’s records concerning your personal affairs, contact the Public Officer by telephone on (02) 6623 3891; facsimile (02) 6621 8314 or by e-mail at: Access to Council’s records regarding your personal affairs is free and a GIPA Access Application form is not required.

Further information regarding the GIPA Act is available from:
Information and Privacy Commission (IPC)
free call telephone: 1800 472 679
postal address: GPO Box 7011 Sydney NSW 2001
or visit the office at Level 17, 201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

County councils to merge 1 July 2016

NSW Minister for Local Government, the Hon Paul Toole has announced from 1 July 2016 the operations of Richmond River County Council and Far North Coast Weeds will be merged into Rous County Council. The decision to merge the operations of the three organisations follows unanimous agreement for change by each county council and their member councils, and a formal proposal put to the Minister in 2014.   The merger is expected to improve financial sustainability with immediate cash savings expected to be in the vicinity of $130,000 for the operations of the two smaller counties. This is largely achieved in the area of administration and governance. Savings will be evident through greater efficiency gains by combining three into one and in particular through the reduction of triplication of costly reporting requirements.   Richmond River County Council and Far North Coast County Council will be dissolved with all functions transferring to Rous County Council effective 1 July 2016. While there will be some operational changes to attend to, our community and customers can expect business as usual with the continued delivery of high quality services in all three areas.

Flood information website

Explore the site to learn more about flooding in the local area and how it might affect you. There are resources to help you prepare and recover from flooding, information about the recent changes to some of the stream gauges, links to past flood investigations and some myth-busting answers to a few of the frequently asked questions about flooding.

Richmond Ecohealth Project 2014

Richmond River County Council marked the completion of a year's collaboration on monitoring river health in the Richmond catchment with the launch of the Ecohealth final report and report card.

Native vegetation plantings (2015)

Native vegetation on riverbanks and in wetlands is important for erosion control, water quality and terrestrial and aquatic habitat. A list of some examples of native vegetation suitable for planting on riverbanks and in wetlands at freshwater sites in the Richmond Catchment is now available on Council's Documents page under Brochures.

Richmond River Flood Mapping Study

The Evans River Flood Study - Final Report is now available.

Pesticide notifications

Click here for current pesticide notifications.

Riverbank Survey

The Richmond River and Catchment Riparian Land Management Survey is open for participation. Please check the map to see the area covered. Other areas will be surveyed at a later date.

Reward offered to catch weir vandals

Richmond River County Council (RRCC) recently developed a Policy for consultation on providing rewards for persons providing information that leads to the conviction of offender(s) for intentionally damaging Council property.

Tuckombil Weir 9-5-2014 022This action has been prompted following major damage to Tuckombil Weir, south of Woodburn.

Cr Wright, Chairman of RRCC said, “The weir was deliberately targeted and damaged with two cuts jackhammered into joins of the modular weir. Those responsible obviously hoped it would collapse.”

Cr Wright said, “I am extremely disappointed that a critical piece of community flood mitigation infrastructure has been deliberately targeted.”

Tuckombil weil close-upCr Wright said, “It is obvious by the damage caused, it was more than one person involved with a boat, compressor and jackhammer used entering from the Rocky Mouth Creek side of the weir. Persons responsible would be known to the Woodburn community as not everyone has that sort of equipment.”

The Council’s General Manager, Kyme Lavelle said the weir was designed to hold back deoxygenated flood waters from killing aquatic life in the Evans River and prevent sea water from the Evans River entering the freshwaters of the mid-Richmond.

He said, “It also allows high flow flood water to escape from the mid-Richmond into the Evans.”

Mr Lavelle said the damage bill to restore the weir is estimated at $50,000 of public funds but if the whole weir collapses, then the replacement cost will rise to approximately $1 million, not to mention the potential for environmental damage to the Evans River and its dependent aquatic and estuarine habitat . 

Anyone with information should contact the General Manager, Mr. Kyme Lavelle on 6621 8314 or by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and quoting Police Report Number E 54360022.

Business FloodSafe Plan

Develop a customised Business FloodSafe Plan with this web based toolkit to help you plan for floods that may affect your business.