With up to $10 million damage to roads and drainage, the Richmond Valley Council has welcomed assistance from the state and federal governments.
Coraki, Bora Ridge, Bungawalbin, Moonem and Swan Bay were some of the worst affected areas during the two recent flooding events.
RVC general manager Vaughan MacDonald said the assistance was being provided through the jointly-funded Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).
Mr Macdonald said the announcements were a welcome reprieve for the council and its communities, and he encouraged all affected residents, primary producers, small business owners and non-profit organisations to check their eligibility for assistance through NDRRA.
As well as roads and drainage repairs, there will also be support for primary producers, with beef and sugarcane farmers eligible for grants up to $10,000, while soybean growers, who were particularly hard hit, can apply for grants up to $15,000.
Mr Macdonald said 50 of the council’s unsealed roads and 21 sealed rural roads were inundated with water, or suffered significant scouring on steep sections and along shoulders and road edges during the events. This equates to more than 53 kilometres of Council’s road network.
As well, he said numerous bridges and causeways were covered by floodwaters, and a number of sealed roads had bitumen stripped off the surface.
“We have many roads which suffered significant damage and road users must exercise extreme caution on these roads,” Mr Macdonald said.
“It is our first priority to ensure residents can safely access these roads as soon as practicable.”
Emergency works have been carried out on Rambaldinis, Hogarth Range, Busbys Flat, Stones, Caniaba and Fig Tree roads.
Priority restoration works will be undertaken on Myall Creek Road, Boggy Creek Road, Reardons Lane, Swan Bay-New Italy, Moonem-New Italy and Coraki-Ellangowan roads, with remaining roads to be fixed as quickly as possible.
Mr Macdonald said Council crews were working as hard as they could to restore all affected roads, and he thanked the community for their patience. However, he said some of the damage was quite extensive and a quick-fix solution was just not possible.
‘Council’s repair bill has been estimated at $10 million, and with such a large area affected, restoration will take time,’ he said.
‘Therefore, NDRRA assistance is most welcome.’
For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444. To apply for a concessional loan, grant or freight subsidy, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit raa.nsw.gov.au
Further information on disaster assistance is available on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website disasterassist.gov.au and the NSW emergency information and response website at emergency.nsw.gov.au