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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Lessons not learned from Murwillumbah flood: Council

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The Murwillumbah levee. Residents who live behind it don’t know how much it protects them. Photo Highway Traveller

One of the key findings of a survey conducted among Murwillumbah residents last year was that very few people understand the flood risk in central Murwillumbah or would respond quickly to an order to evacuate – or evacuate at all.

Just a week after the anniversary of those catastrophic 2017 floods, Tweed Council is holding a drop-in session for township residents and businesses to learn some critically important lessons about flooding in the area.

The council has been busy planning for future floods and Friday’s session will show the public the modelling and mapping of central Murwillumbah under flood conditions that has undertaken by Catchment Simulations Solutions consultant David Tetley.

Catchment Simulations Solutions prepared the draft Murwillumbah CBD Flood Levee and Drainage Study, which is now on public exhibition.

Mr Tetley’s organisation surveyed some 800 residents of the area behind the main Murwillumbah levee in October last year to gauge their understanding and preparedness for floods.

Flood risk

‘This flood modelling graphically illustrates the risk of flooding behind the levee wall, which every resident and business located in that area needs to be aware of and prepared for,’ Roads and Stormwater Manager Danny Rose said.

‘We need to raise the awareness of this risk to build a more flood-resilient community.’

The drop-in session will be held at the Canvas and Kettle Meeting Room at the Murwillumbah Civic and Cultural Centre from 3-6pm on Friday, April 6.

Community members will be able to talk with the council’s flood engineers and the consultants to unpack some of the content of the draft Murwillumbah CBD Flood Levee and Drainage Study, which is on public exhibition until Friday May 4.

The draft study highlights the findings of the consultant’s study and community survey and assesses a number of engineering options to further protect the area from floods.

Council has received funding for an additional study focused on South Murwillumbah, and will commence that work later in the year.

The draft study will be on display at the drop-in session. It can also be viewed at the Murwillumbah and Tweed Heads administration centres and libraries and online at http://www.tweed.nsw.gov.au/.

Representatives from the SES will also be at the drop-in session to provide advice and information on how to prepare for a flood.

Feedback on the draft study should be emailed to [email protected] by Friday May 4.


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  1. What needs to be discussed is the pipes that drain water from the City into the river because if they aren’t blocked there is no point in having the levee wall . The day I entered town the water was filling the roundabout outside the picture theatre so I drove through about 2 feet of water then but upon entering Tweed Valley Way the only water on the road was just south of Perry’s boat yard at S of Chinderah and all the way the river had not broken it’s banks .

  2. The hide of Tweed Shire Council to accuse Murwillumbah residents of not being flood ready…. this from an organisation that let their fleet of utes, trucks and Plant machinery get inundated and thus rendered useless and therefore unable to respond to the community when it was at its most vulnerable.
    These misfits didnt even have the forsight to deliver sand to the SES for sandbagging.
    Heads need to roll and the Engineers responsible should be sacked.
    They know who they are.


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