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News and Reviews

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update –Friday 10 July 2022 

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

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.

 

Contractors

  • 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.

 

Hinterland

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.

 

Waste 

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 flood.programs@epa.nsw.gov.au.

 

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.

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Mental Health in Young Men: The Need for Change

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Mental Health in Young Men: The Need for Change

 

As part of International Men’s Health Week, Kids Helpline is urging boys and young men to prioritise their mental health. Tracy Adams, CEO of yourtown, emphasises the importance of this week for fostering a positive culture around mental and emotional well-being, especially for young men.

Key Findings from Kids Helpline

  • Help-Seeking Disparity: Young males are significantly less likely to seek help for mental health concerns compared to females. In May, Kids Helpline recorded 57 daily responses from young males versus 195 from females.
  • Age Groups: Males aged 19 to 25 are the largest group of male help-seekers (37%), while those aged 15 to 18 are the least likely to seek support.

Societal Stigma and Hyper masculinity

Ms. Adams highlights that societal stigma and the culture of hyper masculinity discourage boys from talking about their emotions and seeking help. Many boys conform to a masculine ideal that values stoicism, toughness, and competitiveness, which has long-term negative effects on their mental health.

The Impact of Reluctance

Reluctance to access mental health support leaves many young men feeling isolated and vulnerable. Kids Helpline counsellors note that this reluctance is often due to the stigma associated with mental health issues and societal expectations of masculinity.

Creating a Supportive Environment

Kids Helpline provides a safe and inclusive space for boys and young men to connect with professional support around the clock. The service aims to change the way boys view mental health and encourage them to reach out for help.

Call to Action

Ms. Adams concludes by urging the community to teach boys that it’s okay to seek help. Emphasising the importance of support, she highlights the need to change societal norms and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in young men.

Contact Information

Kids Helpline is Australia’s only national 24/7 counselling service for children and young people aged 5 to 25 years, provided by yourtown. It offers free, confidential support via:

Conclusion

International Men’s Health Week serves as a crucial reminder to address the mental health needs of young men. By encouraging open conversations and providing accessible support, we can help young men lead healthier, happier lives.

 

For more health news, click here.

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News and Reviews

Council Recognised at Local Government Awards

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

Council Recognised at Local Government Awards

 

Clarence Valley Council was honoured at the Local Government Professionals Award dinner in Sydney on Thursday, June 6, 2024. The Council emerged as finalists in five categories: Special Project Initiative, Innovative Leadership, Partnership and Collaboration, People Workplace Wellbeing, and the Emerging Leaders category.

The Planning Portal Integration project, aimed at enhancing customer experience and simplifying online application processes, won the Judges Award in the Special Project Initiative category. Clarence Valley Council’s General Manager, Laura Black, expressed immense pride in the contributions of the staff and the positive impact on the community. “Staff have worked hard on making the transition to the NSW Planning Portal as streamlined as possible. Being one of the first councils in the state to complete the integration with our corporate systems, it was great to see it recognized as a winner at the Local Government Professionals Awards,” said Ms. Black.

Nick Harvey, the esteemed Financial Accountant, was a finalist in the Emerging Leader category. Harvey has brought enthusiasm and innovative thinking to the organisation, consistently meeting challenges with unwavering dedication.

The Council’s staff received recognition in the Innovative Leadership category for their efforts in restoring civil infrastructure after eight consecutive natural disasters, completing several years’ worth of work in just one year despite enduring multiple floods and fires.

The Rediscover Grafton project, a great example of the Council’s collaborative efforts, was a finalist in the Partnerships and Collaboration category. Through cooperation with internal teams, local businesses, and community groups, the project revitalised the Grafton CBD, creating a pedestrian-friendly environment and enhancing the main street’s appeal.

Additionally, the Grow Your Own trainee and apprentice program was recognized as a finalist in the People Workplace Wellbeing category. This initiative addresses staffing needs by training apprentices and trainees across various roles, from People and Culture personnel to Plant Mechanics.

“Although we didn’t win an individual category award, being finalists in five categories from hundreds of nominations and receiving one of three special Judges Awards demonstrates that we are delivering on our commitments. The continuous improvements we have implemented in recent years are recognized by our peers,” Ms. Black said.

 

For more local Clarence Valley news, click here.

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News and Reviews

NRAR Officers to Revisit Casino Area Properties to Monitor Water Rule Compliance

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NOTICE OF MEMBERS EXTRAORINDARY LAND DEALING MEETING

NRAR Officers to Revisit Casino Area Properties to Monitor Water Rule Compliance

 

Natural Resources Access Regulator (NRAR) outreach officers are scheduled to return to properties in the Casino area this June to check on the progress of landholders in addressing water law breaches identified in previous visits.

Since 2022, NRAR officers have visited 782 properties in the region, providing advice and guidance on compliance. During these visits, it was discovered that over 22% of landholders had breached water rules in some manner.

NRAR Director of Education and Engagement Keeley Reynolds explained that the upcoming visits are intended to assess the steps landholders have taken to meet their obligations. “At our first visit, if there were issues, we discussed those with the landholder and offered help and advice on how to address them. Now we hope to see that they have complied or made substantial progress,” Ms. Reynolds stated.

The most common problem identified in the region was the failure to keep accurate records of water use. Additionally, issues such as having oversized water works or metering problems were also frequently detected. Of the 176 breaches observed, 152 were related to accurate record keeping.

“The effective management of water in NSW depends on accurately and consistently measuring water use – and keeping accurate logbooks is fundamental to that,” Ms. Reynolds emphasised. “Some of the breaches we are talking about might seem minor, but all breaches of NSW water laws are important and collectively they can add up to a large widespread problem.”

Ms. Reynolds noted that if landholders are still not compliant, outreach officers will attempt to understand the reasons and offer further assistance. However, she warned that continued non-compliance could lead to enforcement actions, including fines, approval suspensions, and even prosecution for the most significant cases.

The Casino area falls within the Far North Coast Water Sharing Plan area, which spans from north of Coffs Harbour to the Queensland border, covering 10,000 square kilometres and over 280 kilometres of coastline in NSW.

For more information about NRAR’s education and engagement activities, landholders and interested parties are encouraged to visit the NRAR website.

Key Points:

  • NRAR officers to revisit Casino area properties in June to check compliance progress.
  • Initial visits revealed over 22% of landholders had breached water rules.
  • Most common issues were related to accurate water use record keeping.
  • Continued non-compliance could lead to enforcement actions.
  • The Casino area is part of the Far North Coast Water Sharing Plan, covering a vast region in NSW.

For further details on NRAR’s initiatives and to stay updated, please visit NRAR’s website.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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