Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update - Friday 20 May 2022

Published on 20 May 2022

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Roads Update

After the rain last week and across the weekend the focus this week has been on repairs – getting things back to where they were in terms of getting roads open for local access. As we said last week – we are taking one step forward and three steps back.

Again – causeways have been closed, roads damaged and the potholes have re-opened and new ones have appeared. 

Here is the latest information.

Upper Wilsons Creek 

Crews at Upper Wilsons Creek this week were repairing culvert crossings and improving access while the sun was out.

Huonbrook 

Aside from continuing to work on creating access, maintaining access and renewing access we had a crew working on building a carpark adjacent to the impassable slip so that residents have a place to leave their cars. 

Main Arm 

This week Council staff met with residents about a range of issues but the common themes are road and causeway damage, initial and long-term repairs.

A team has been replacing guideposts on Main Arm creek crossings and another has been clearing out culverts and causeways in Main Arm.

How to report your damaged road

We appreciate local knowledge so please report what you can to us via Report it on the front page of our website.

Other roads around the Shire

Byron Shire’s road network has been significantly impacted by the recent flooding events.

Council’s estimate of the cost of recovery and rebuilding after the recent flood events is around $180 million.

Over 200 new infrastructure projects have been added to Council’s works program over the last month, in direct response to the scale of damage caused by the natural disaster.

We want our community to understand that the floods have caused major damage to our road and infrastructure network.

The size and complexity of some projects, combined with the fact that land slips in our Shire are still moving means some of our rebuilding is going to take years to complete.

We moved quickly on temporary works to repair damaged bridges, causeways and roads so that people had access in and out of our significantly affected hinterland communities.

Now we face the bigger task of rebuilding and that is the marathon ahead for us as an organisation.

Drains 

We continued cleaning and vacuuming out the drainage network, including some open drain clearing work this week. Our crews are focusing on priority areas for general maintenance. 

NSW Flood Inquiry 

Thank you to everyone who shared their flood stories and experiences with Council via our Your Say Byron Shire web page. Your input will be included in our submission to the Inquiry. 

Submissions are due to close today but we understand that the date for submissions is being extended and we will let you know when we have more information.

For more information go to the NSW Government's Flood Inquiry webpage. 

Mullumbimby Flood Recovery Centre 

The Mullumbimby Flood Recovery Centre at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall is open Monday to Thursday next week from 9am to 4:30pm with the following services available:

  • Services Australia   
  • Service NSW
  • Legal Aid NSW       
  • Insurance services
  • Chaplaincy Network     

It will be closed on Friday 27 May. 

Plans are progressing for an outreach service for areas including Main Arm and Huonbrook.

Slips, Slopes and Streams workshop

On Friday 27 May Brunswick Valley Landcare, Wilsons Creek Huonbrook Landcare, Goonengerry Landcare and Byron Shire Council are hosting a workshop on landslides and creek erosion. 

After the recent intense rainfall our local landscape has changed dramatically with landslides, rock falls and creek erosion. 

This workshop will help landholders understand why slides and slips happen, to restore areas that have been impacted. 

Speakers include: 

  • Dr John Grant, Southern Cross University - understanding mass movement: why slopes fail 
  • Shane Morris, Local Land Services - riparian areas when to intervene with earthworks 
  • Mark Dunphy, Firewheel Nursery - planting guide for slips, slopes, slides and riparian areas

Brunswick Valley Landcare will also launch ‘Climate Resilient Landscapes - A Planting Guide for the Northern Rivers Region’. 

Morning tea and a light lunch will be provided. Please book tickets (free, via link below) so we know numbers for catering. 

There will be time for discussion with the speakers and other professionals after the talks over lunch. 

This project has been supported by funding from the NSW Government through its Increasing Resilience to Climate Change (IRCC) community grant projects.  

Register for the workshop at (2) Slides, Slopes & Streams | Facebook  

Insurance Council of Australia meeting in Mullumbimby 

The Insurance Council of Australia and insurers are holding a townhall community roadshow in Mullumbimby for policyholders affected by the recent extreme weather and floods.  

  • 24 May 2022 
  • Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club 
  • 5:30 – 8:30pm 
  • Register to attend  

The purpose of the forum is to provide policyholders with detail on the claims process, complaints avenues and other useful information to assist with the claims process. 

Information is on the Insurance Council of Australia’s Facebook page. 

BOM has updated its app

The Bureau has released more personalised and relevant warnings with the BOM Weather app update. 

The app now has push notifications for six weather warnings including tropical cyclones, fire weather, flood, tsunami, severe weather and severe thunderstorm. 

Once installed and enabled, a notification will appear on your device's screen. You can select which types of notifications you would like to receive. 

Access the latest weather at your fingertips by downloading or updating the app.

Grants 

Information on grants available to individuals and businesses is on the Service NSW website. 

Waste 

Update for hinterland residents 

The bins near Lilium Café are collected on Mondays and Thursdays and are for the residents of Upper Wilsons Creek, Huonbrook and Wanganui.

Remember – they are for household waste and recycling.

There is also a bin bank on Left Bank Road before the 4th causeway. This is for residents beyond that point. 

Shire-wide flood collection 

Flood waste collections and free drop off have finished. 

If you have not been able to access the free drop off or the collections, please contact our Resource Recovery Hotline on 1300 652 625

Any items put out on the kerbside or roadside will be considered illegal dumping so it is important that you contact us if you need help. 

We will continue to work with rural communities who have had challenges with road access. 

Cars, other vehicles and large waste

We have been working with NSW EPA and seeking further help for clean-up of any remaining large debris on public land and/or in waterways. 

Please report flood-based debris (large, man-made waste) to NSW EPA via flood.programs@epa.nsw.gov.au.   

Water quality of our beaches and waterways

The latest water quality results are on our website. 

Water samples are generally collected each Tuesday.

Tell us about your flood heights 

If you haven’t had a chance, we’re still keen to hear from residents and businesses about the flood heights that occurred at your property. 

Share your experience via the Tell us about flood heights at your property page on our website.

Temporary pop-up villages

Two council-owned sites at Brunswick Heads have been identified by the NSW Government as locations for temporary housing for people who had their homes damaged by the floods.

They are: 

  • 125 Tweed Street on the remediated former STP site
  • Excelsior Circuit in Bayside next to Lilly Pilly Preschool. 

Council is working with Resilience NSW to finalise details of lease arrangements which would allow for temporary housing to be erected on these sites for up to five years.

The pop-up flood housing in the Byron Shire will be managed by Resilience NSW in conjunction with local community housing providers.

Resilience NSW and Service NSW will be engaging directly with people to determine their level of need and support.

To register for this housing support, contact Service NSW on 13 77 88 or speak to Recovery Centre staff. 

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