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The Northern Rivers Times Rural News Edition 107
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News and Reviews

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update –Friday 10 July 2022 



NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update –Friday 10 July 2022


Roads Update

The rain earlier this week slowed things down a bit. Here is a snapshot of some of the work we got stuck into over the last two weeks.


Grader Maintenance team

  • Chinamans Hill Road – completed
  • Picadilly Hill Road – is close to completion
  • Mafeking Road should start next week.
  • Bangalow Road edge – has been finished.
  • Stuart Street in Mullumbimby – still working on drains and road edges


Capital Works crews

  • Myocum Road
  • Stage 2 of the Pocket Road upgrade has restarted
  • Kingsley Lane project is due to start next week


Stormwater team

Over the last several weeks the Stormwater crews have been opening and clearing drains across the Shire including:

  • Bulgoon Street
  • The very end of Manse Road in Mullum
  • Tuckaroo Estate – retention pond


They were also working on some of the open drains in Mullumbimby.



  • Kings Road at Federal is almost completed ready for seal but the rain has held this up.
  • Jones Road repair should be completed very soon.
  • Settlement Road Main Arm is finished.
  • Whians Road at Federal is finished.
  • Flood repair work in Main Arm started in late June.
  • Crews have started repairing two small slips at Upper Main Arm.
  • Pre work started on Springvale Road for the stabilisation crew, which will follow in the coming weeks.



Staff met with hinterland residents from the Huonbrook Valley this week and talked about the timeframe for repairs to roads.


Council’s priority is to get all remaining access roads in Huonbrook open as quickly as possible.


Contractors are being engaged to start this work and all going well they will be onsite by mid-August.


We will also be doing so repair work on the access roads to Huonbrook.  This will include filling the potholes and grading roads where needed. We know this is not a long-term fix but it will be a lot better than it currently is.


Staff are also looking at a slip on Johnsons Road.


Report your road damage and potholes

We are working on filling the many potholes across the Shire and we welcome your notifications. The best way to notify us of particular potholes, or road damage, is via the Report It tab on our website.



Free flood drop off has finished. Exceptions may apply with prior written approval.


Call 1300 652 625 for more information.


Update for hinterland residents


There is a bin bank at the intersection of Huonbrook and Wanganui Road for residents beyond this point.


These bins are to share, please do not remove them or swap them from the bin bank.


If you no longer have bins, please call the Resource Recovery Hotline, 1300 652 625 to organise replacements.
Govt help with flood debris on public and private land


We know there is some angst in the community about large flood debris, such as cars, that remain on private land, public land and in some waterways.  The clean-up of much of this flood debris will be managed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority.


For the clean-up of all flood debris on private land, register at Request clean-up of flood debris on private land program | Service NSW. For further info call MRA Consulting Group on 0492 941 487.


If you have found large or hazardous flood waste on the beach, or in rivers and waterways you can report this directly, via email, to


You can find details for all flood clean-up programs on the EPA website.  There are guidelines for each program.


Please note the recovery of insured vehicles will be the responsibility of insurance companies.


Mullumbimby Flood Recovery Centre

The Mullumbimby Flood Recovery Centre is now operating out of the CWA Hall on the corner of Tincogan and Gordon Streets in Mullumbimby.


The reason for the change of venue is because we are repairing flood damage to the Civic Hall.


The Recovery Centre is open Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 4.00pm.


The following services are available:

  • Service NSW
  • Legal Aid NSW
  • Insurance services.


Information about the Flood Recovery Centre is on Council’s website.


Rates relief announced for flood affected ratepayers 

The NSW Government has announced that flood-affected ratepayers in the Byron Shire may qualify to have their 2022/23 land rates paid.


The rate relief will apply to any ratepayer who has made a successful claim through Service NSW, or who had their property assessed by the SES as directly damaged from the flood or storm events.


Eligible ratepayers will have their residential, business and farm rates for 2022-2023 paid for by the NSW Government.


Note – this only applies to land rates not charges such as waste, water and sewer.


Service NSW will administer the program and eligible ratepayers will receive the relief automatically. There is no need to apply. The NSW Government will be contacting ratepayers directly to confirm their eligibility.


People who do not receive rate relief but think they are eligible should contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.


Rural driveways may now qualify for disaster relief funding

If you’ve been declined Australian Government Disaster Relief Funding (AGDRF) in the past, it could be worth checking recent changes and additions to eligibility. In certain instances, rural driveways may be considered a major asset and therefore may now be eligible for funding.


To be eligible for AGDRP a person must have been seriously affected by the event. This means you were either:

  • Seriously injured,
  • Are the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died or is missing; or
  • The flood destroyed or caused major damage to the person’s home (principal place of residence – so a holiday home does not count) or
  • Major damage to a major asset or assets with a combined market value of at least $20,000.


In terms of major assets, this could be separate buildings on the property, vehicles, caravans, water tanks, large scale machinery or fencing. Rural driveways may be considered a major asset when:

  • The part of the driveway that is destroyed or suffered major damage is located at the person’s principal place of residence and is on private land,
  • The driveway provides the only vehicle access to the person’s principal place of residence, and
  • The driveway has a market value of at least $20,000.


Destroyed for a major asset means it is unusable. Major damage to a major asset (that is not a water tank) means that it is damaged by heavy rainfall or by flood water to the extent that it needs to be replaced.


For more information go to the Services Australia website.

News and Reviews

Deadline Looms for Native Forest Petition




NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

Deadline Looms for Native Forest Petition

The future of native forest logging hangs in the balance with an important petition to the NSW parliament fast approaching its August deadline. The North East Forest Alliance has added its voice to environmental leaders from around Australia calling for NSW citizens to sign up and share this vital opportunity to force our government to act on our community’s calls to protect our forests and the koalas and other endangered species who live in them.
“Native forest logging is a sepia toned anachronism. We can no longer afford to support the tiny sectional interests who profit from logging our water catchments, carbon sinks, wildlife’s homes and tourism magnets. Now is the time to act to make our representatives listen to reason and end native forest logging for good.” said North East Forest Alliance spokesperson Sean O’Shannessy.

“NSW people overwhelmingly support protecting our koalas and other endangered critters. This week we have a precious opportunity to force the parliament to debate this vital issue. We must act now or the August deadline will slip past us and our irreplaceable forests will be one step closer to extinction. Please sign and share this petition today. Together we can make NSW a safe place for our forest dependent koalas and their friends” Mr O’Shannessy said

The Parliamentary e-Petition is online at

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News and Reviews

Luke Banitsiotis claims his third REIV Senior Auctioneer of the Year title




Luke Banitsiotios
Luke Banitsiotis claims his third REIV Senior Auctioneer of the Year title

Luke Banitsiotis claims his third REIV Senior Auctioneer of the Year title

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) is pleased to congratulate Luke Banitsiotis as the winner of the Senior Auctioneer of the Year 2022. It extends further congratulations to Andy Reid, the Senior Runner-Up.

Luke Banitsiotis of Woodards Blackburn claimed his third win after previously being crowned Real Estate Institute of Victoria Senior Auctioneer of the Year in 2018 and 2019.

The Senior Auctioneering Competition presents the opportunity for the very best Victorian auctioneering talent to showcase their skills in a competitive and supportive environment.

The cohort of expert auctioneers were battling it out for the chance to represent Victoria at the annual Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships.

Luke was excited at the opportunity to come back and compete at the REIV Headquarters in Camberwell alongside his peers.

“The REIV Senior Auctioneer competition has helped me develop my auctioneering style, ultimately benefitting the vendors who choose to work with me. Each time I enter, I always walk away a better auctioneer,” said Luke.

“The competition is always fierce each year! As a past winner, I always feel a little bit of extra pressure, which helps me focus and perform at my absolute best. My peers motivate me and I love to watch them improve each year also, they push me to keep training and evolving.”

REIV President Richard Simpson said the competition brings together the best in the business and is big feat for those who participate and make it to the finals.

“Being able to witness these agents, who are the top of their game, kick into action and really showcase their abilities is a great experience,” said Mr Simpson.

“It makes me proud to be in real estate, seeing how much passion these agents have for their profession, how hard they work for their clients, and how much respect they have for each other.

“We look forward to seeing Luke and Andy compete in the Australasian Real Estate Institutes’ Auctioneering Championships and showcase the talent we house within our REIV community”.

By claiming the esteemed title of Senior Auctioneer of the Year, Luke also has the privilege of calling the annual Good Friday Appeal Charity House Auction in 2023.

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Casino NSW News

Casino VRA Open Day




Casino VRA Open Day

Casino VRA Open Day

Story by Lara Leahy
Image by Lara Leahy

The VRA are an integral part of the safety and security when it comes to rescue on our roads, at places of work and in our homes. They have had a solid presence in Casino since September 1980 which has been largely supported by local donations and people. Their professional approach and the tasks they accomplish for the community is a testimony to the Integrity and dedication of its members. Casino VRA are opening its doors this month, so you can get a glimpse inside the organisation.

The VRA are involved in various roles in the community. In rescue operations they attend road crashes, animal rescues, industrial and domestic entrapments – whether it’s a ring stuck on a finger or machinery, swift water rescue and USAR or Urban Search and Rescue. But they also attend community events in supportive roles.

The Open Day on Sunday July 24th is so the community can learn first-hand about who they are, what they do and how they do it.

Melanie Brenton is an active General Land Rescue operator which means she is accredited to attend road accidents. She has been involved for eight years. Mel’s initial motivation was to meet people and become more involved in the community, but she has benefitted so much more from the experience, “I feel very proud of the people, our capability and resources in the team. We function as a smooth unit which is important. We trust each other and there is a great sense of professionalism and contribution.”

“At the open day there will be an opportunity to see how one of the rescue vehicles is set up for operations. We will do a live demonstration of a rescue from a car, and you can speak to the members and learn more about how to get involved,” Paul Cowles, the Deputy Region Coordinator, says “It’s a great way of giving back to the community in a different way.” There will also be a sausage sizzle.

Women and men over 18 are invited to become involved. Paul confirms, “For those that are interested, the training is free and accredited nationwide.” Melanie says.
“There are many options and paths you can take. The training and mentoring are constant. I feel like I have been nurtured for my whole eight-year journey. The experience of those supporting you is important – some are founding members. Next, I’d like to train in flood rescue, which is a personal interest for me.

“Working with other services is part of the role – firies, SES, ambulance and the police,” Mel says.
“When you rescue anything, even a cat and the tears of a family turn to smiles, it is such a good feeling. We are a small team, but we have a mighty impact!”

The open day is on Sunday July 24th at the VRA headquarters on Graham place in Casino. It starts at 11am and goes until 2pm. All are welcome.


Read the full story in The Northern Rivers Times – Download here

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