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Lismore is a city located in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia and the main population centre in the City of Lismore local government area, it is also a regional centre in the Northern Rivers region of the state. Lismore is 734 km (456 mi) north of Sydney and 200 km (120 mi) south of Brisbane. It is situated on a low floodplain on the banks of the Wilsons River near the latter's junction with Leycester Creek, both tributaries of the Richmond River which enters the Pacific Ocean at Ballina, 30 km (19 mi) to the east.
The original settlement initially developed as a grazing property in the 1840s, then became a timber and agricultural town and inland port based around substantial river traffic, which prior to the development of the road and rail networks was the principal means of transportation in the region. Use of the river for transport declined and then ceased around the mid-twentieth century, however by that time Lismore (which was elevated to city status in 1946) had become well established as the largest urban centre in the region, providing its surrounding area with a range of services. The city is also located on the Bruxner Highway which crosses the Wilsons River at Lismore, and was formerly a stop on the Casino-Murwillumbah railway line. It is the home of one of the three campuses of Southern Cross University.
With its low-lying position adjacent to the Wilsons River, which can rise rapidly following periods of high rainfall in its catchment, the centre of Lismore is susceptible to flooding, although it is partly protected by a system of levees and flood gates.
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