Major drainage enhancements in flood-affected areas, and the employment of a Council officer to help residents rebuild and return to their homes, are among a raft of measures proposed by Byron Council under the latest round of disaster funding.
Council has recently been allocated $2.375 million under the disaster recovery funding arrangements put in place by the State and federal governments.
Councillors will this week vote on a program of works recommended by staff, that include 18 separate projects.
The biggest ticket item, by financial value, is the South Golden Beach Resilience Betterment Program, which would cost $500,000.
This would be spent on major enhancements to the rear easements in the most flood-prone areas of the town, and the installation of a generator, which will provide continuous power to a flood pump.
Continuing on the theme of flood risk reduction, Council staff are also proposing a Shire-wide drainage enhancement program, valued at $390,000.
This would involve repairing and cleaning drains and outlets impacted by the deluge of mud, sand and debris that took place during the February/March floods.
‘The program will allow Council to reach areas it currently cannot, owing to funding shortfalls and to support future stormwater and flood mitigation,’ Council Grants Coordinator, Donna Johnston, said in her report on the proposal.
‘Once completed, it will reduce ongoing maintenance burdens, and ensure the drainage system operates at peak efficiencies and capacities.’
Residents waiting to return to or rebuild their homes are also set to get some help under the proposed program of works.
It is proposed that Council will employ two Natural Disaster Planners, whose job will be to provide practical and planning support in relation to rebuilding in flood and storm affected areas.
This would include implementing a fast-track process for development applications and other Council approvals directly relating to the floods, including those that involve future-proofing homes and businesses.
Councillors will vote on the proposed program at this week’s Council meeting.