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2022 Floods

Housing demand creates planning challenges

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Housing demand creates planning challenges

The current lack of affordable and diverse housing for buyers and renters is a crisis which is confronting all levels of government.

A move to regional areas, limited government investment in social housing, a boom in short terms rentals, COVID-19, the recent floods and inflation have put great pressures on the property market.

While housing is primarily the responsibility of federal and state governments, Tweed Shire Council plays a key role as a determining authority/regulator for housing and planning law.

 

Council acts on unauthorised dwellings. Over the last 2 years, Council has contributed to an increased supply of affordable housing by encouraging diverse and affordable housing through the approval of more than 130 DAs involving secondary dwelling (granny flats) development controls, in addition to established dual occupancy controls.

In recognising the housing crisis, Council has worked collectively through the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO) and Local Government NSW, to be an advocate for action on new social housing supply and affordability policies.

Over the last 2 years, Council has contributed to an increased supply of affordable housing by encouraging diverse and affordable housing through the approval of more than 130 DAs involving secondary dwelling (granny flats) development controls, in addition to established dual occupancy controls.

Attached dual occupancy dwellings are also possible in many rural areas, in addition to established urban areas.

More information can be found at tweed.nsw.gov.au/granny-flats-secondary dwellings

Additional dual occupancy information can also be found at tweed.nsw.gov.au/dual-occupancy

While Council provides a supportive approach to people affected by the housing crisis, it also has an important statutory responsibility to ensure that any land uses or building works provide a safe and secure housing.

Council recently resolved at its 7 July 2022 meeting to reinforce its role in undertaking compliance action on unauthorised dwellings.

General Manager Troy Green said Council had rescinded the resolution at Item 21.1 of the 2 June 2022 Confidential Council Meeting. The resolution sought to extend an initial moratorium from its 4 November 2021 meeting on taking compliance action on unauthorised dwellings up until 30 September 2022.

“After attending a workshop and gaining additional advice from staff, Councillors acknowledged there may be significant risks for Council to extend the earlier moratorium,” Mr Green said.

“In response to the potential risk and liability identified, it was agreed that a late report be submitted to the Extraordinary Council Meeting of 7 July 2022, seeking to rescind Council’s resolution from the 2 June 2022 meeting.

“Council also resolved that any new compliance matters would be subject to the current requirements of Council’s adopted Compliance Policy.”

Unauthorised building works carried out without required formal approval and certification can pose significant risk to life and property.

In other scenarios, unauthorised building works could also be poorly located on sites which are flood prone, bushfire prone, contaminated or landslip areas and thereby present similar life-threatening, public health and environmental hazards.

Council encourages people to undertake their land use activities with proper consent and approvals to avoid causing a nuisance or acting in breach of legislation.

Council has a compliance policy which guides the approach and response to a range of compliance issues.

However we also rely on the community to report unauthorised work and provide evidence to assist Council in taking action.

Compliance officers use their discretion when dealing with such matters, taking into account the evidence, cost to the community of any action, details of the case, public policy and legal precedent.

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2022 Floods

Diary of a Flood Survivor

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Diary of a Flood Survivor Woodburn Service Station

Diary of a Flood Survivor

 

I feel like we must have been one of the first cars to get petrol at the newly-reopened service station at Woodburn.

They did not have their ATM lines up so were only taking cash.

As I walked into the shop, I could smell the newness of the plastic and products as I went to pay for the tank’s worth.

AND the price was the lowest I have seen in a long while.

No doubt, once the ATM lines are up and if they keep the same price, it will be a popular spot.

It makes the town feel like it is back on the road to healing.

Now we just need to see our IGA open and we will be all grown up again.

I recently went to the funeral of the wife of a friend.

It was a very poignant moment to see him reach out and gently touch the coffin next to where he sat in the church during the requiem mass.

Her children read out her own words that she had written about her life and it was interesting to note she was born in the middle of a flood in 1928.

From there, she remembered as a young wife and mother the devastation of 1954’s flood.

When we first arrived on the Northern Rivers, the 1954 flood was spoken about in hushed tones or a type of reverence at the enormity of it.

Without taking away from the devastation that happened during that flood, as many more people lost their lives, I don’t think I have the same awe for it as I once did, now having experienced the aftermath of the 2022 flood.

Little steps.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

Two years on Annette has her keepsakes returned

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Matchbook Collection.

Two years on Annette has her keepsakes returned

 

By Samantha Elley

Most people who experienced the loss of personal items in the 2022 flood have come to terms with the fact they will never see them again.

Annette Dale of East Wardell was no different.

Her jar of matchbooks that she had been collecting since her twenties was a hobby of hers for forty years.

“My ex-husband and I would travel about to restaurants and nightclubs and I used to collect their matchbooks,” she said.

“I managed to salvage them in the first flood and put them in a shed, but then the second flood actually took my water tank.”

The second flood also took her collection of matchbooks, still in their jar.

“I hadn’t thought about them until half way through last year,” said Annette.

Fast forward to 2024 and Annette’s daughter Katelin was scrolling on her social media when she saw a post where a staff member from the Ramada in Ballina was looking for the owner of a jar of matchbooks.

“Spotted floating along the river during the floods. Ramada staff fished this jar out of the water. We would love to return this item to its owner.”

This was the sign on the jar.

Matchbook Collection.

Matchbook Collection.

“(Katelin) rang me and said ‘Mum, I have something of yours you lost in the floods’,” said Annette.

“I started crying and she filmed me when I got it back.”

That video was posted on the Wardell CORE Community Organised Resilience Effort page and Annette has been overwhelmed with all the positive comments and good wishes.

“To have my glass jar float all the way from East Wardell to the Ramada is amazing,” she said.

Annette said the flood waters didn’t affect Wardell until March 1 and she thought she was safe on a mound.

However, when she woke up that morning she realised she was on an island and needed rescuing.

“I got rescued on a jet ski by two (very handsome) men,” she said.

“It was a terrifying experience, it was a leap of faith and I prayed the whole time.”

For the next six months Annette lived with her daughter and son-in-law in Tuckombil until the house was in a decent state to move back into.

Having her long lost collection of match books back has lifted her spirits no end and she visited the Ramada last Friday to meet the staff who saved her keepsakes.

“I am totally grateful to the Ramada staff,” she said.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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2022 Floods

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

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RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

 

January 2023 the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond embarked on the biggest projects it has ever undertaken in its 38 years; The Temporary Housing Project which supplies small homes on people’s properties where their homes are unliveable due to the devastating floods of 2022.

A recovery team from the Rotary Club comprising Col Lee Flood Recovery coordinator, marketing and finance, Donella Kinnish  Project manager and Paul Sleeth builder was set up. The team is involved in all the interviews, site inspections and the building program.

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

Temporary Home Project Kitchen

The criteria is: the applicant must have had their home flood affected and unliveable. They must have running water, a working toilet of some sort and some form of electricity which are State Government requirements.

The homes come as a flat pack and open out when raised. They are positioned  on footings concreted into the ground and elevated around 110-150ml off the ground to allow adequate air flow under the temporary house to limit mould. They are built in China, have all the electrics and ADR compliance carried out in Australia before the are transported to the site for erection.

They come with full security bars on the windows, LED lighting, multiple power points and 15 amp circuit breaker and wiring. The erection of the homes takes around 20 minutes after the crane truck positions the home on the footings . Once secured in place they are fitted out with a kitchenette, gas hot water service, fire alarm, microwave and fridge. Some also have showers added externally.

RC of Ballina-on-Richmond Temporary Home Project

Temporary Home Project

The project has supplied homes in all local LGAs with the latest 5 x homes going into Nimbin due to landslides . In all 36 homes have been supplied with a further two to be erected in Nimbin when the access to the properties dries out. Once completed it will be a $630,000 project providing a warm, secure and solid temporary home for up to five years.

A great advantage with this product is that once the recipients have repaired or replaced their original home to a liveable standard , the temporary home can be easily dismantled, transported and reused on another site where a natural disaster has occurred. Not going into landfill which is often the case for other temporary homes.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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