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Byron Shire
December 2, 2022

Tweed Mayor impressed with Flood report

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The Tweed Shire was severely hit by the record February-March flood, with more than 2,100 homes damaged and an estimated 1,600 residents displaced by the event.

Council estimates the damage to public infrastructure, including roads and Council buildings, will cost up to $100 million to repair.

With there being a mixed response to the Independent Flood Inquiry report, the Mayor of Tweed Shire Chris Cherry said she was impressed with the expansive work and detailed consideration evident in the report.

Professor Mary O’Kane AC and former NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller APM listening to the stories of Tweed residents impacted by the flood during their public hearing at Tumbulgum Hall on 4 May 2022. Photo supplied.

Pleased with the report’s findings

Cr Cherry said she was pleased with the report’s findings which would take some time to digest. ‘There is an incredible amount of data and learnings in this report and I sincerely thank Professor Mary O’Kane and Mick Fullerton for their work and the care and consideration that is evident in the report.’

Cr Cherry said it will take a while to digest all of the information. ‘In terms of the 28 recommendations, I am pleased to see a number of Council’s main advocacy points have been incorporated into the final document.

‘The combining of the back-end of our SES and Rural Fire Service so they can operate together more seamlessly is a great example of this, as is the training of our community to be prepared for floods in the same way we are prepared for fire.’
Cr Cherry said the community had waited long enough and answers were needed now on a comprehensive response to move people off the floodplain.

Floods the catalyst for change

‘The sentence that strikes me most is that the “2022 floods must become the catalyst for change in the way governments and the community considers floods and floodplains”. Flood planning and land swap or buy-back programs are one of the main points of interest for Council and I hope we can see a detailed response to this recommendation coming forward as soon as possible.’

The findings and recommendations followed an extensive Inquiry, which received 1,494 submissions and held 144 meetings with stakeholders, including a community forum at Tumbulgum on 4 May, 2022.

Council also made a written submission to the inquiry following its adoption at the May Council meeting.

To view the full Independent Flood Inquiry Report, visit nsw.gov.au/nsw-government/projects-and-initiatives/floodinquiry.

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  1. How can you be impressed when flooding occurs upon; Chinderah, Kingscliff and the inability to use the M1 if you are in the southern area of the future Tweed Valley Hospital?
    One of your staff member identified to me that; “Regarding the proposed Tweed Valley Hospital Site at Kingscliff, the site can be accessed by road from various locations across the Shire in flood times. It is acknowledged that it would be isolated from Tweed Heads (and south and west Tweed Heads), Banora Point and Terranora. However, these areas could be serviced by Queensland hospitals in emergency situations, once the existing site in Tweed Heads is decommissioned.”
    It was my understanding the QLD Premier & Health Minister in the last flood denied interstate residents to use their hospitals… so what do we do, let alone if we are flooded in our locality?
    Also, the staff identified that; “In major flooding events such as the one we have just witnessed Tweed Coast Road will become impassable and the proposed upgrading work for Tweed Coast Road will not change this situation.”
    This is a failure of the N.S.W. Government and all that have supported the concept. And our mayor and councillors are asking for submissions to the betterment of our shire in; “Growth Management and Housing Strategy”. You are denying a population of the northwest of our shire services and infrastructure for our future needs. Who is Accountable?


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