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Byron Shire
March 4, 2024

Community feedback on access to flood cameras

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An image taken from a flood camera at Boatharbour Bridge on the Numinbah Road shows the crossing completely submerged at the height of the flood on 28 February 2022.

The same camera – the image showing water had receded at Boatharbour Bridge on the Numinbah Road on the afternoon of 1 March 2022.

Tweed Shire Council is seeking community feedback on a new policy to allow public access to images from Council’s flood monitoring cameras installed at six key locations across the Tweed.

The cameras, installed over the past year mostly facing flood-prone sections of public roads, will help gather intelligence for the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), Council operations and other emergency service organisations during flood events.

They will also provide useful information for community awareness of flood events and to help motorists avoid flooded roads.

For the images to be made publicly available, and to manage Council’s legislative obligations including privacy, Council has drafted a Flood Monitoring Camera Policy.

The flood camera at the intersection of Bilambil Road and Hogans Road, Bilambil.

Still images on Council’s website

Once the policy is adopted, the still images may be published on Council’s website with each image visible for 15 minutes before it will disappear and is replaced by a new, refreshed image.

Council’s Director Engineering David Oxenham said the policy was part of Council’s aim to prepare for, mitigate and build resilience to both natural disasters and the impacts of climate change. ‘Our flood cameras are positioned in key locations across the Tweed and are a valuable tool in helping to monitor our creeks and rivers during severe weather conditions.

‘Once the camera footage is broadcast on our website, the community will be able to see for themselves the condition of the roads and bridges at these key locations and base their travel decisions accordingly.

‘The cameras will also support public safety by reducing the high-risk activity of sightseeing during a flood event,’ said Mr Oxenham.

The cameras are located at:

  • Bilambil Sports Club on the corner of Bilambil and Hogans roads, Bilambil
  • Boatharbour Bridge on Numinbah Road, Nobbys Creek
  • Byangum Bridge on Kyogle Road, Byangum
  • Murwillumbah Bridge on Wollumbin Street, Murwillumbah
  • Tweed Valley Way (Oaks Avenue) north of Cudgen Road and Tweed Valley Way intersection, Chinderah
  • Piggabeen Road at the culvert just west of Banksia Waters Village, Tweed Heads West (to be installed soon).

These locations were selected in consultation with the NSW SES to improve their flood event operational intelligence.

Cameras operating 24/7

The cameras operate 24 hours a day. They are stand-alone, solar-powered, with connectivity provided by the 4G mobile network. Some cameras may not work as well during low light conditions and severe weather.

Should any further camera locations be added to the flood monitoring camera network, those cameras would also be covered under this policy.

Data or information collected from the cameras will be retained for six months and may be provided to a law enforcement agency for a lawful and permitted purpose.

Any requests for access to data held by Council must be made by way of application in accordance with the requirements set out in the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

Council is seeking residents’ feedback on the policy. All submissions will be considered, and the final draft will go to Council for adoption.

The Draft Draft Flood Monitoring Camera Policy is on public exhibition now with submissions closing on Monday 5 December 2022. Visit yoursaytweed.com.au/draft-flood-camera-monitoring-policy.

The flood cameras are funded under the Commonwealth Bushfire Recovery Exceptional Assistance Immediate Support Package (Bushfire Recovery Funding) and through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements administered by the NSW Office of Local Government.

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