Flood damage to roads estimated at over $5 million
Byron Shire Council has estimated that the recent flood damage road bill will be over $5 million.
Access to 97 per cent of roads within the shire will have interim access restored by Thursday afternoon. Council staff are currently working at Mill Road, Hunonbrook and Wanganui Road, Wanganui.
The Whian Road causeway will be cleared today and Durrumbul Road also requires repair work.
This week potholes have been filled on high volume traffic main roads, however Council’s director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, warned that some potholes were reappearing during the ongoing wet weather.
“Pothole filling is a temporary fix and not a permanent solution. Our crews are working throughout the shire in coming weeks and they will return and refill the potholes as they reappear,” he confirmed.
Over the next two days, Council and contractor pothole road crews are working on Upper Main Arm Road, The Pocket, Coolamon Scenic Drive North (Coorabell to Mullumbimby), St Helena Road and Brunswick Heads.
Mr Holloway said 95% of the roads have been inspected and a total of 469 defects recorded and includes debris landslips on Wilsons Creek Road, Wanganui Road, Coolamon Scenic Drive and Kings Road, Federal.
Drains and culverts in Billinudgel will start to be cleared tomorrow and finish after the Easter long weekend. The crews will then move on to South Golden Beach towards the end of next week .
The main impact on bridges has been trees and debris collected at the base of the bridges.
The Byron Bay embayment beaches fared relatively well in the recent storm event due to the offshore southerly swell direction that bypassed the bay.
However, there has been some erosion and residents and visitors are asked to stay off the coastal dunes as trampling creates more instability and delays recovery.
To date, over 400 tonnes of flood damaged general waste and 150 tonnes of green waste has been collected. This includes flood damaged bulky items and green waste dropped at the Byron Resource Recovery Centre at Myocum.
The kerb side pickup in flood affected areas ends this week (Thursday 13 April) along with the free waste drop off for flood damaged bulky items at the Byron Resource Recovery Centre (Saturday, 15 April. Closed Good Friday 14 April).
Residents who have been unable to dispose of flood damaged waste by this time, are asked to contact Council on 6626 7081 to make arrangements for disposal.
The three skip bins located in New Brighton, Brunswick Heads and Billinudgel have also been removed due to asbestos and flammable material being placed in the skips.
The Mullumbimby Petria Thomas Pool will remain closed, due to flood damage, for the remainder of the pool season (ends 30 April). Season pass holders can use their pass at the Byron Bay Pool.
Acting general manager Mark Arnold said unfortunately he had not yet been advised that Byron Shire flood affected areas would be included in the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA).
He said Council was continuing to lobby and advocate for the release of this funding from the Australian Government.
Mr Arnold thanked the Mullumbimby and District Neighbourhood Centre and Salvation Army for the continued support of flood affected residents in providing a local disaster pop-up recovery centre during the past week.
Along with hot meals and counselling, the centre has been supporting residents to access NSW government funding.
“The team has heard first hand heart breaking stories of hardship and devastation as a result of the recent floods. Our residents need access to the Australian Government funding now,” Mr Arnold urged.
Flood disaster recovery centres have been setup at Lismore and Murwillumbah and information on state services can be found at https://www.emergency.nsw.gov.au. Outreach services from the recovery centres have also commenced into the Byron Shire flood affected areas this week.
The NSW Department of Industry business bus will be in Billinudgel on Tuesday 18 April to help flood affected businesses.