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Byron Shire
December 4, 2022

Byron Shire Council flood update March 4

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Byron Shire Council says that communication services continue to be impacted – and they are working with their service providers to get things up and running as soon as possible.

They are urging residents to continue to listen to the ABC radio for updates and monitor Byron Shire Council’s Emergency Dashboard.

Mullum Farmers Markets 

Mullum Farmers Markets will be at the Mullumbimby Council building car park today, Friday March 4 from 6am. There will be about 10 stalls with fresh produce only.

Roads 

Byron Shire Council is anticipating an infrastructure damage repair bill of up to a hundred million dollars.

Council’s Infrastructure Services Director Phil Holloway said staff inspections were grim and it will take months for some communities to have full access returned. ‘Some of the roads in the hinterland have been totally destroyed.

‘The already wet landscapes and extreme rainfall volumes have caused damage that we have not experienced before.

‘We are seeing hundreds of meters of road simply washed away, gaping holes where causeways and bridges used to be and landslips covering roads.

‘Requests for support from the ADF and NSW Public Works have been submitted, but with severe damage throughout the Northern Rivers, their resources will be stretched.

‘Damage reports are being collated and will be submitted to the NSW Government for funding support,” he said.

Catastrophic road infrastructure impacts

• Englishes Bridges at Upper Coopers Creek has a huge landslip, and the bridge is gone. Currently impassable and not accessible.

• Wilson Creek Road, Wilsons Creek has multiples land slips, causeway failures, pavement damage and trees down. Currently impassable and not accessible.

• Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby Creek – two landslips, two causeways failed and one approach severely damaged. Currently impassable and not accessible.

• Williams Bridge at Main Arm is severely damaged and needs a full replacement. Two causeways are severely damaged and require full replacement including approaches. There are likely more damaged causeways further up the road.

• Palmwoods and Upper Main Arm – large land slips have destroyed access. Hundreds of meters of roads have been washed away.

• At Federal and Goonengerry there are numerous landslips.

Mr Holloway warned that the list of damaged roads would be extensive over the coming days. ‘It is currently beyond Council’s capacity to restore the road network within near future and like our neighouring areas, we are seeking help from local contractors.

‘Unfortunately, we are anticipating in some areas road closures will be in place for weeks if not months.
‘Council will advise residents and impacted communities as soon as we can have more information. With no communications, destroyed roads and stretched staff, this is proving challenging.
Please be assured we are working around the clock to get to as many people and places as we can.

People travelling or commuting should check My Road Info before they head out. 

No sightseeing

Council is asking that people do not travel for sightseeing as the roads are needed for emergency workers, service crews and accessing essential items such as food, water, medical supplies and fuel.

Extreme caution must be used when travelling in the Shire. For information on road closures go to the map on the front page of Council’s emergency dashboard

To report road damage, use the Report It tab on the website.

Water restrictions – Mullumbimby critical shortage  

The water main break at Mullumbimby was fixed yesterday.

Crews worked overnight to continue filling Azalea Reservoir. The water treatment plant in Mullumbimby is working and airlocks are being worked on by the crew.

Water tankers were also used yesterday to top up the water supply and will return today.

Council asks that residents continue to use water sparingly and only for essential purposes of drinking, cooking and showers. Delay using your hose for cleaning up – every drop counts to help us replenish the water supply.

Water from the tap does not need to be boiled.  

Bottled water continues to be available at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

Rous County Council also asks the community to be mindful of their water use during the current flood disaster and where possible, reduce their water consumption.

Kerbside pick-up  

Contract crews organised by Byron Shire Council arrived in Mullumbimby on Wednesday and started clearing flood-damaged waste from the kerbs.

These crews are continuing to work through Mullumbimby and also moved into some parts of Brunswick Heads on Thursday.

They continue to move through other parts of the Shire with the schedule currently:  

  • Mullumbimby – started 2 March   

  • Azalea Street will be done early Monday morning (7 March).  Residents are asked not to park along the road Monday morning so the rubbish can be picked up quickly and safely.  Traffic management will be in place. 

  • Brunswick Heads – Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March  

  • Billinudgel and The Pocket – Wednesday 9 March onwards  

  • North Ocean Shores (Low lying areas) – Wednesday 9 March onwards  

  • New Brighton – Wednesday 9 March onwards  

  • South Golden Beach – Thursday 10 March, Friday 11 March and into following week. 

To help please:  

  • Do not put hazardous waste (e.g. chemical drums, paint, asbestos) out on kerbside because they won’t be collected. 

  • Tyres are not flood waste and won’t be collected. 

  • White goods like fridges and large metal items should be separated and they will be collected separately and recycled. Take the food out of the fridge please.

  • Rotting waste should be put in red bins – not on kerbside with bulk waste. 

  • If possible – park cars off-road so cleanups can occur safely and quickly.

Skip bins  

  • NSW Public Works staff are now working with Council and the plan is to set up some skip bins at Ocean Shores at the northern end of Orana Road (salad bowl) and the northern end of Shara Boulevard. 

  • We are still working through the logistics of this and will let you know when we know more. 

Donations  

Please – think before you give 

Our Communities are renowned for being generous. It’s in our nature to do what we can to help. But we are asking the community to donate responsibly.  

Please do not donate unrequested items.  

We need to ensure local organisations aren’t inundated with donations they do not need and cannot store.  

Local Emergency Management Committees are liaising with State Government agencies to ensure that the critical and immediate needs of communities are met. 

Donations can be dropped to the Mullumbimby Civic Hall and they will assist with getting them to where they are needed.  They are open from 8.30am to 8.30pm, including the weekend. Items currently needed include: 

  • Cleaning items – mops, broom, buckets, hard scrubbing brushes and shovels. 

  • Wet weather gear – raincoats, gumboots

  • Antiseptic, band aids and bandages

  • Food – nonperishables

  • Gas bottles – filled and not out of date

  • Lighting – candles, torches  

  • NO BEDDING IS REQUIRED  

  • NO CLOTHING IS REQUIRED – except for wet weather clothing gear. 

Please consider: 

Managing the disposal of unneeded goods by organisations takes time, resources and costs. Unsolicited donations often end up warehoused or in landfill, making clean-up operations more difficult and costly for communities. 

The best way to support this important work is to check with reputable charities about what they are being asked to provide. 

Established organisations, like GIVIT, are working with government agencies and local communities to manage offers of donated items, services and funds for people impacted by floods across parts of NSW. This will ensure a coordinated approach to helping people in need, without burdening local volunteer organisations.  

Key donation links:  

Evacuation Centre 

The Ocean Shores Country Club remains the evacuation centre for Byron Shire. 

Connecting with loved ones  

The Red Cross is managing a register to help people connect with loved ones who may have been impacted during this event.  

Disaster funding 

The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is available for people impacted by a flood event. 

The AGDRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment and is available to eligible people in the Byron Shire who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury. 

The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) is also available. 

The DRA helps employees, small business people and farmers who have lost income as a result of the floods. 

The allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks payment from the date people have, or will lose, income as a result of the disaster. 

The DRA is set at the maximum equivalent rate of the Jobseeker payment or Youth Allowance. 

How to claim 

Claims for the AGDRP and the DRA are open from 2pm today, 1 March 2022. 

·      Call Services Australia on 180 22 66. 

·      Via the myGov website. 

·      Go to the Services Australia website 

Water height  

While devastatingly fresh in our minds, impacted residents are being asked to measure and record the water height and save photos.

Council will be seeking this data in coming weeks to measure impacts and improve flood mapping and to support our claim for disaster recovery funding.

Sandhills childcare centre  

The centre will remained closed for the remainder of the week until debris can be removed.

Council offices 

The Byron Shire Council administration building will be closed until the end of the week.

Council has been impacted by the major network outages and as a result our phone system and internet service continues to be down.  

Communication services with phone and internet are limited. We are working hard to return to full services by Monday.

Our after hours service is available to take limited calls on 02 6622 7022. 

We have skeleton staff available to access our remote systems and can be contact via email [email protected]  

For all emergencies and life threatening situations please contact the SES 132 500 or 000. 

People can also report road damage etc on the Report It tab on our website.

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. has anyone seen or heard from michael lyons since the rain event? and how is it that almost all of the regions telecommunications are down?

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