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Byron Shire
September 21, 2021

Byron shire residents finally get a flood meeting

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Flood-bound Billinudgel is bracing for more rain after Wilfred Street and the Pocket Road were completely submerged in places yesterday afternoon (around 5pm). Photo Jeff Dawson
Flood-bound Billinudgel. Photo Jeff Dawson

Flood relief discussion will be taking place between Byron shire council, businesses and residents this Thursday, June 1, at the Ocean Shores Country Club, Pacific Room at 2.30pm. Everyone is invited to attend.

Billinudgel businesses have already submitted questions to council regarding what happened during ex-cyclone Debbie. Council will respond to theses and then an outline of councils role followed by an open forum and discussion.

‘The purpose of this meeting is for the community to have face time with Council to facilitate an open discussion, where business and residents can raise any questions they may have regarding Council’s role both pre and post flood,’ said organiser Rebecca Brewin from Billi Auto.

‘It will aim to further a more cohesive response for both community and council during future events.’

Issues to be discussed will include flood levels, north Byron floodplain risk management study and plan and the flood pump.

‘We all deserve some time with our councillors to create a plan to move forward as well as to look at what can be done for the next time,’ said local business owner, Rebecca McEwan.

‘We need to look at recovery for next time and what we can learn for the future.’

The Mayor and council staff Tony Nash, James Flockton, Peter Rees will be attending the meeting. The police and the SES have been  also been invited to attend.

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  1. I am curious know why the General Manager and department heads are not listed as attendees. I see the Mayor is attending. But why? Under the Westminster system, which we follow, its the Executive who take responsibility for such actions, not the Legislature.

    Although its pleasing that the Mayor follows such matters closely. But he should not be the Council staff’s ‘fall-guy’.

    Regarding the South Golden Beach flooding, clearly a senior staffer at Byron Council was asleep at the wheel. Many of those affected would have been renters without insurance cover. Ditto Council shutting down for the day of the flood without a backup emergency phone system in place.

    Here is my article published in the Echo (http://jimbeatsonjournalist.blogspot). I would like to know, have these issues been discussed and how have they been addressed by the BSC Senior Management. The absence of a backup emergency phone system in place appears in the Echo article below to which I contributed in the same link.

    I would like to attend this meeting but I am overseas. As a rate-payer of many years I would require serious, frank answers and want to see who is to blame and what action is to be taken with the relevant staffer. Not just admitting mistakes were made and promising to fix them.

    I used to work as a project manager and a journalist at The Economist and as a journalist at The Guardian in London for some years. Had an event of this magnitude happened there the person in charge would almost certainly have been sacked. This is incompetence of a high level. It could have been much more serious but for the intervention of the community.

    Jim Beatson (an investigative journalist who now works for the Bay FM’s Community Newsroom plus freelance work at the Echo and Sydney Morning Herald).


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