Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update 18 March

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Today our Mayor, Cr Michael Lyon, General Manager, Mark Arnold and Director Sustainable Environment and Economy, Shannon Burt, met with representatives from the Business Council of Australia to talk about the impact of the floods on businesses in the Byron Shire.

Eligible local businesses can apply for vouchers as part of the BizRebuild program, an initiative of the Business Council of Australia to help small businesses who have been impacted by the floods. More details on how to apply are below.

Our teams are still busy in the hinterland areas and request that only local and emergency traffic drive through the Wilsons Creek and Huonbrook areas.

A reminder too that only flood-damaged waste should be on the kerbside for pick-up or put into skip bins. This is not the time to be cleaning out your shed or getting rid of things you don’t want any more.

Mullumbimby Recovery Centre

The Mullumbimby Recovery Precinct will be open over the weekend.

From Monday 21 March there are new opening hours:

  • Monday – Friday from 9am – 4:30pm
  • Saturdays – 9am – 2pm
  • Sundays – closed.

Council’s flood recovery and resilience team has been spending time connecting with local communities this week to understand specific recovery needs.

We have heard very clearly the need to connect isolated communities like Main Arm, Huonbrook, Wanganui and Upper Wilsons Creek with support services available at the Mullumbimby Recovery Precinct and will have more details early next week about how this will be happening.

We also heard of the widespread need for increased face-to-face mental health and wellbeing support across the Shire. These actions are immediate priorities and we will continue to work with our community and government partners to meet community needs as they arise.

Waste and clean-up update

The good news is that we have now completed collections in Mullumimby, Brunswick Heads, North Ocean Shores, New Brighton, Billinudgel, The Pocket and Middle Pocket, with South Golden Beach due to be finished early next week. This has been a huge collective effort by the community and Council’s clean-up crews.

As we near the completion of the bulk flood waste collection, please do not place any further items on the kerbside.

Only flood waste please

We are noticing that general unwanted household items, building materials and hazardous waste are being illegally dumped at the skip bin locations.

Please only put genuine flood waste into skip bins and leave space for those who genuinely need assistance or the bins will need to be removed.

If you still have flood waste you can drop it off at one of the skip bin sites, the Byron Resource Recovery Centre in Myocum or call the Resource Recovery Hotline 1300 652 625.

Broken glass

A reminder to please be aware of broken glass on the ground around clean up areas. The crews are making every effort to clean up any broken glass they find but want people to be aware that there may have been some missed particularly in grassy areas. Please avoid putting glass items out on the kerbs if possible.

Roads

Upper Wilsons Creek

The Australian Defence Force are helping to improve the access at the Upper Wilsons Creek landslip and from Monday teams will be starting road repairs, beginning at the first causeway and working up to the end of the road. Restoring 4WD access is the priority.

Huonbrook

The first landslip in Huonbrook is still moving and is a safety concern. The road will need to be under 24hr traffic control for months and could be closed at short notice as risks change due to weather and movement. We are monitoring the safety aspects as we proceed with drilling and clearing.

While vehicle access is being slowly restored through the valley, this will not be a quick process due to the number, size and complexity of the landslips. Driving beyond the first Wanganui landslip is not supported by Council.

Wanganui

Risk assessments have been done on the first two landslips at Wanganui and approved for clearing for emergency access. We will start this work as soon as we can access the site.

Parks and facilities

Mowing and slashing

Many parks, roadsides and sports fields remain saturated, soft and unable to be accessed by mowers without causing damage.

Mowing and slashing crews will hopefully resume their regular mowing and maintenance programs next week if the ground is dry enough.

Playgrounds and BBQs

The bark underneath play equipment at many playgrounds was washed away and replacment material has been ordered.

BBQs in Tom Kendall Park and Bangalow Parklands are out of action but will be repaired as soon as possible.

Tennis courts at Waterlily Park and Mullumbimby Recreation Grounds are useable but have been impacted by silt. Contractors have been engaged to wash down and re-sand these courts as soon as possible.

Pools

The Mullumbimby Pool will not be able to reopen this season. Mullumbimby pool passes and season passes are valid at Byron.

Temporary Housing

The NSW Government is preparing a temporary housing support package to help people who need accommodation support in the coming weeks and months.

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