Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update - Thursday 9 June 2022

Published on 09 June 2022

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Thank you to everyone who was able to attend the NSW Independent Flood Inquiry in Mullumbimby on Monday morning or joined the livestream.  

Councillors and staff, including the General Manager, attended, and listened to the wide range of experiences shared. It was a valuable and emotional meeting that reflected the extreme challenges faced by our community members and the organisations and individuals responding to the emergency.  

We look forward to seeing the challenges experienced in the Byron Shire reflected in the Inquiry’s findings and recommendations.

Don’t forget that the deadline for submissions to the NSW Independent Flood Inquiry has been extended to 24 June 2022. 

We encourage anyone who would like to share their experiences and observations of the floods to do so:   

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

Roads Update  

Upper Wilsons Creek     

This week, with some sunny, dry days in our favour, we continued work to re-establish emergency access at Upper Wilson’s Creek. 

We began concreting at causeway 12. Residents, please note that we will be closing causeway 6 for almost 24hrs from 9am next Tuesday, 14 June, until 7am Wednesday, 15 June. 

The plan is for these temporary crossings to be in place until the new permanent crossings are ready.  

Please note that the crossings at Upper Wilsons Creek will be fully upgraded as a part of the flood recovery but this will involve them being fully planned and designed, and Council is currently procuring resources to do this work.  

It will take some time to complete this and the work on the ground.  

Huonbrook     

Work on the temporary carpark is now complete and we’re getting valuable feedback on use of the turning circle, plus other ideas for improvement in this area from residents. 

Main Arm and Upper Main Arm    

This week we’ve had our crews working on heavy patching on Main Arm Road, focusing on the worst sections between Mullumbimby and Sherry’s Bridge. This work will be finished by the end of this week. 

Federal  

Consultants are continuing to work designs/plans for the landslip on Federal Drive.  We expect to have these by mid-July at the latest. 

Until then people should stay away from this area. The landslip is still moving. 

How to report your damaged road    

We appreciate local knowledge from inaccessible areas, so please report what you can to us via Report it on our website.  

Drains 

We are seeking feedback from property owners, residents, and businesses in the north of the Shire who have experienced issues with stormwater or drainage.  

The feedback will help Council develop a detailed plan for the assessment, maintenance, and upgrade of drainage infrastructure. 

We also welcome feedback from residents in other parts of the Shire as well. 

The closing date for submissions is tomorrow, 10 June. 

You can provide feedback by visiting North Byron Shire stormwater and drainage issues

Waste     

Update for hinterland residents  

Bin collections on all Upper Wilsons Creek Road resumed today. 

There will be an extra service of both recycling and landfill on Monday 13 June and Thursday 16 June to help with removing some excess waste. 

If you no longer have bins, please call the Resource Recovery Hotline, 1300 652 625 to organise replacements.  

The bins near Lilium Café are collected on Mondays and Thursdays and are for the residents of Huonbrook and Wanganui. Council is working towards relocating this bin bank closer to affected residents as road access allows.  

Please do not contaminate recycling bins with household waste. 

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

Mullumbimby Flood Recovery Centre    

Next week (13 June 2022) the Flood Recovery Centre will be open from Tuesday to Wednesday, 9am to 4.00pm. 

The following services will be available:    

  • Services Australia       
  • Service NSW    
  • Legal Aid NSW           
  • Insurance services.     

Information about the Flood Recovery Centre is on Council’s website. 

Property Assessment bus 

The NSW Government’s Flood Property Assessment team and Resilience NSW visited Mullumbimby, Main Arm and Byron Bay this week and will be heading to Ocean Shores Shopping Centre carpark tomorrow (10 June).  

The team can assist residents, businesses, and primary producers with accessing: 

  • A free property assessment, including an inspection report and repair schedule with estimated costs,  
  • If required, an electrical make safe and structural inspection,  
  • Free property demolition if applicable and only with the property owner’s consent, and 
  • Back Home and Disaster Relief Grants.

The property assessment program is being delivered by the Johns Lyng Group, a building company that specialises in disaster recovery.  

You can also register for the program by calling 13 77 88 or via the Service NSW website

Rate relief announced for flood affected ratepayers  

Thousands of ratepayers whose properties were damaged in this year’s devastating floods will receive rate relief, thanks to a $40 million NSW Government funding package.  

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said ratepayers in any of the seven Northern Rivers Local Government Areas (LGAs) who made a successful claim through Service NSW, or whose property has been assessed as damaged, will have their 2022/23 rates waived. 

Full details of eligibility requirements and the claims process have not yet been released by the State Government but Council is following up with Service NSW and will keep residents updated when we know more.  

Rural driveways may now qualify for disaster relief funding 

If you’ve been declined Australian Government Disaster Relief Funding (AGDRF) in the past, it could be worth checking recent changes and additions to eligibility. In certain instances, rural driveways may be considered a major asset and therefore may now be eligible for funding. 

To be eligible for AGDRP a person must have been seriously affected by the event. This means you were either: 

  • Seriously injured, 
  • Are the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died or is missing; or  
  • The flood destroyed or caused major damage to the person’s home (principal place of residence – so a holiday home does not count) or  
  • Major damage to a major asset or assets with a combined market value of at least $20,000. 

In terms of major assets, this could be separate buildings on the property, vehicles, caravans, water tanks, large scale machinery or fencing. Rural driveways may be considered a major asset when: 

  • The part of the driveway that is destroyed or suffered major damage is wholly located at the person’s principal place of residence and is on private land,  
  • The driveway provides the only vehicle access to the person’s principal place of residence, and 
  • The driveway has a market value of at least $20,000. 

Destroyed for a major asset means it is unusable. Major damage to a major asset (that is not a water tank) means that it is damaged by heavy rainfall or by flood waters to the extent that it needs to be replaced.  

For more information go to the Services Australia website

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