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Byron Shire
November 29, 2022

Byron Shire flood recovery update

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Mullumbimby’s CBD under water Monday 28 February. PIC: Simon Haslam

Byron Shire Council says it’s in awe of the local community and how everyone is continuing to come out with hearts and minds to support each other through the flooding disaster.

In its latest update, Council says it has completed a major clean-up of the inbound lane of Argyle Street Mullumbimby with the road closed and traffic diverted. The road will be closed again today (Wednesday) with traffic detoured so flood-waste can be collected from the outbound lane.

Upper Coopers Creek

Council says there is good news for Upper Coopers Creek and surrounding communities, with a design underway for a new bridge and immediate works in progress to provide access as soon as possible.

Williams Bridge, near Main Arm has had a geotechnical assessment and materials are being sourcing to start a rebuild of the bridge as soon as possible. Council will provide a further update on timing.

Excavators made it up to Upper Main Arm yesterday and are grading an access track at Upper Main Road, heading towards Motts Road.

Army

Around 200 Australian Defence Force personnel arrived in the Shire yesterday to set up camp. They will be assisting Council with a range of tasks including clean up, road and bridge repairs.

Council was pleased to announce that recent causeway upgrades and major road upgrades, including Greys Lane in Tyagarah, held up ‘beautifully’ during the flooding.

Mullumbimby Recovery Centre

While the Mullumbimby Civic Hall has now been vacated by the community to enable the service providers in the Recovery Centre to start work, Council says it is still supporting the community effort to continue its great work with access to three sites in the immediate vicinity.

Resilience NSW’s dedicated Flood Recovery Centre is up and running at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall in Dalley Street, providing face-to-face support from around 15 different agencies. It is open 7 days from 8.30am until 5pm.

Council asks that if you, or anyone you know needs help with clean-up services, financial help, insurance and legal support, business support, mental-health and wellbeing support – please go along to the Civic Hall for a chat.

Lots more information at www.service.nsw.gov.au/floods/recovery-centres.

Waste clean-up

Council says clean-up crews are continuing to move through all major flood affected areas, doing an initial sweep of all major flood affected areas and then further assessment. Staff understand that some people cannot get all of their flood waste out at once.

They ask that cars be kept off the streets as much as possible to allow truck access.

Cleaning crews will be collecting bulky, flood-damaged waste in the following areas today:

  • Mullumbimby (Argyle St, Industrial Estate, Riverside Dr and surrounding courts)
  • New Brighton
  • Billinudgel
  • South Golden Beach

Cleaning will commence in the below areas in the days following:

  • The Pocket
  • Ocean Shores
  • North Ocean Shores

Managing your waste

Council reminds everyone not to put asbestos out for kerbside collections. This is a public health risk. Fines of up to $500,000 may apply.

Remember to put the following items in a separate pile:

  • fridges (take the food out of the fridge please)
  • washing machines
  • large metal items
  • scrap metal
  • electronics
  • paint, oils, chemicals
  • mirrors, glass, windows (they can smash on the ground when being lifted in the large piles)
  • gas bottles

Skip Bins

To assist in the kerbside bulk waste pickup and alleviate pressure on the Resource Recovery Centre, three skip bin locations have been set up by Council:

  • “Salad Bowl” – Intersection Orana Rd and Brunswick Valley Way
  • Mullumbimby Netball Courts Carpark – off Jubilee Ave
  • Cnr Alidenes and Wilsons Creek Roads

Additional skip locations will be added in rural areas.

Roads

Council engineers are continuing to gather technical information and speaking to residents in order to work on solutions to rebuild the road network as quickly as possible.

They are asking everyone to continue to report road damage (with details about locations) via the Report It tab on Council’s website.

Locals are reminded that smaller-scale damage reports will be lower down the repair priority list than those posing significant safety and access issues, so will take longer for the crews to get to.

Because many roads remain inaccessible and damaged, extreme caution is to be used when driving around the Shire. Council is asking people to please avoid sight-seeing as it has been hampering operations.

People should check Livetraffic or the map on Council’s emergency dashboard for road closures.

Many roads remain closed in Main Arm, Wilson’s Creek, Huonbrook, Federal, and Upper Coopers Creek. Council is establishing weekly site visits and meetings with affected communities to provide updates on road network progress.

They are requesting that people do not take matters into their own hands to clear land slips or create alternative routes as roads may have severe structural issues beyond those which are visually apparent. Urgent geotechnical assessment and monitoring is continuing.

While they say they are working as quickly as possible, there are delays in securing the materials needed to rebuild roads, due to flooded quarries.

Regarding generous offers of help from people with road building equipment, Council says it does want to work with the community to take up these offers, but is still in the early stages of coordination. They will be in touch if people leave contact details.

Support

For the Australian Government Disaster Relief Payment and the Disaster Recovery Payment and to find out what you are eligible for, call Services Australia on 180 22 66.

Via the web, you can also contact Services Australia and myGov.

$50,000 grants have been announced from Service NSW for assistance to small businesses affected by flooding, along with a range of other business-related funding. The Service NSW site is here.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Despite Council “requesting that people do not take matters into their own hands”, I must give a shout out to the community-minded locals who repaired the Beattys Creek causeway on Goonengerry Rd earlier this week. Had we waited for our resource-strapped council to do it we’d still be taking a 35 km diversion to go shopping.

    Salt of the earth, those folk are!

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