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2022 Floods

Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Thursday 3 March

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THE NSW NORTHERN RIVERS TIMES NEWSPAPER
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Byron Shire Flood Recovery Update – Thursday 3 March

The clean up and recovery phase across the Shire continues and we have many hard days ahead.

On behalf of Council, it is a heartfelt thank you to the emergency responders, volunteers, family, friends and neighbours who are helping out. Your energy and generosity is greatly appreciated and welcomed in this time of crisis.

Our community will experience enormous shock for many more days and Council is working tirelessly to restore services and ask for additional NSW and Australian Government assistance.

Residents are asked to continue to listen to the ABC radio for updates and monitor Byron Shire Council’s Emergency Dashboard.

Unfortunately, Council communication services continue to be impacted – we are working with our service providers get this back up and running as soon as possible.

Mullum Farmers Markets

The wonderful Mullum Farmers Markets will be at the Mullumbimby Council building car park on Friday morning, 4 March, from 6am.

There will be about 10 stalls with fresh produce only.

With food supplies hard to source, this is a great service.

Many thanks to our local producers who are helping out.

Roads

Byron Shire Council is anticipating an infrastructure damage repair bill of up to a hundred million dollars.

Council’s Infrastructure Services Director Phil Holloway said staff inspections were grim and it will take months for some communities to have full access returned.

“Some of the roads in the hinterland have been totally destroyed.

“The already wet landscapes and extreme rainfall volumes have caused damage that we have not experienced before.

“We are seeing hundreds of meters of road simply washed away, gaping holes where causeways and bridges used to be and landslips covering roads.

“Requests for support from the ADF and NSW Public Works have been submitted, but with severe damage throughout the Northern Rivers, their resources will be stretched.

“Damage reports are being collated and will be submitted to the NSW Government for funding support,” he said.

Catastrophic road infrastructure impacts have occurred in the following areas:

Englishes Bridges at Upper Coopers Creek has a huge landslip, and the bridge is gone. Currently impassable and not accessible.

Wilson Creek Road, Wilsons Creek has multiples land slips, causeway failures, pavement damage and trees down. Currently impassable and not accessible.

Left Bank Road, Mullumbimby Creek – two landslips, two causeways failed and one approach severely damaged. Currently impassable and not accessible.

Williams Bridge at Main Arm is severely damaged and needs a full replacement. Two causeways are severely damaged and require full replacement including approaches. There are likely more damaged causeways further up the road.

Palmwoods and Upper Main Arm – large land slips have destroyed access. Hundreds of meters of roads have been washed away.

At Federal and Goonengerry there are numerous landslips.

Mr Holloway warned that the list of damaged roads would be extensive over the coming days.

“It is currently beyond Council’s capacity to restore the road network within near future and like our neighouring areas, we are seeking help from local contractors.

“Unfortunately, we are anticipating in some areas road closures will be in place for weeks if not months.

“Council will advise residents and impacted communities as soon as we can have more information. With no communications, destroyed roads and stretched staff, this is proving challenging.

“Please be assured we are working around the clock to get to as many people and places as we can,” Mr Holloway said.

People travelling or commuting should check My Road Info before they head out.

And please no sightseeing; the roads are needed for emergency workers, service crews and accessing essential items such as food, water, medical supplies and fuel.

Extreme caution must be used when travelling in the Shire. For information on road closures go to the map on the front page of our emergency dashboard.

To report road damage, use the Report It tab on our website.

Water restrictions – Mullumbimby critical shortage

The water main break at Mullumbimby was fixed today.

Crews are working tonight (weather permitting) to continue filling Azalea Reservoir. The Water treatment plant in Mullumbimby is working and we are starting to feel more positive. Airlocks are being worked on by the crew now.

Water tankers have also been used today to top up the water supply and will return tomorrow.

Please continue to use water sparingly and only for essential purposes of drinking, cooking and showers. Delay using your hose for cleaning up – every drop counts to help us replenish the water supply.

Water from the tap does not need to be boiled.

Bottle water continues to be available at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

Rous County Council also asks the community to be mindful of their water use during the current flood disaster and where possible, reduce their water consumption .

Kerbside pick-up

Contract crews organised by Byron Shire Council arrived in Mullumbimby yesterday (Wednesday 2 March) and started clearing flood-damaged waste from the kerbs.

These crews are continuing to work through Mullumbimby and also moved in to some parts of Brunswick Heads this afternoon.

They continue to move through other parts of the Shire with the schedule currently:
Mullumbimby – started 2 March
Azalea Street will be done early Monday morning (7 March). Residents are asked not to park along the road Monday morning so the rubbish can be picked up quickly and safely. Traffic management will be in place.
Brunswick Heads – Monday 6, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March
Billinudgel and The Pocket – Wednesday 9 March onwards
North Ocean Shores (Low lying areas) – Wednesday 9 March onwards
New Brighton- Wednesday 9 March onwards
South Golden Beach – Thursday 10 March, Friday 11 March and into following week.

To help us please:
Do not put hazardous waste (e.g. chemical drums, paint, asbestos) out on kerbside because they won’t be collected.
Tyres are not flood waste and won’t be collected.
White goods like fridges and large metal items should be separated and they will collected separately and recycled. Take the food out of the fridge please.
Rotting waste should be put in red bins – not on kerbside with bulk waste.
If possible – park cars off road so clean ups can occur safely and quickly.
Skip bins
NSW Public Works staff are now working with Council and the plan is to set up some skip bins at Ocean Shores at the northern end of Orana Road (salad bowl) and the northern end of Shara Boulevard.
We are still working through the logistics of this and will let you know when we know more.

Donations
Please – think before you give
Our Communities are renowned for being generous. It’s in our nature to do what we can to help. But we are asking the community to donate responsibly.

Please do not donate unrequested items.

We need to ensure local organisations aren’t inundated with donations they do not need and cannot store.

Local Emergency Management Committees are liaising with State Government agencies to ensure that the critical and immediate needs of communities are met.

Donations can be dropped to the Mullumbimby Civic Hall and they will assist with getting them to where they are needed. They are open from 8.30am to 8.30pm, including the weekend. Items currently needed include:
Cleaning items – mops, broom, buckets, hard scrubbing brushes and shovels.
Wet weather gear – raincoats, gumboots
Antiseptic, band aids and bandages
Food – nonperishables
Gas bottles – filled and not out of date
Lighting – candles, torches
NO BEDDING IS REQUIRED
NO CLOTHING IS REQUIRED – except for wet weather clothing gear.

Please consider:

Managing the disposal of unneeded goods by organisations takes time, resources and costs. Unsolicited donations often end up warehoused or in landfill, making clean-up operations more difficult and costly for communities.

The best way to support this important work is to check with reputable charities about what they are being asked to provide.

Established organisations, like GIVIT, are working with government agencies and local communities to manage offers of donated items, services and funds for people impacted by floods across parts of NSW. This will ensure a coordinated approach to helping people in need, without burdening local volunteer organisations.

Key donation links:
https://www.givit.org.au/storms-and-flooding
https://www.redcross.org.au/floodsappeal/
https://donate.vinnies.org.au/appeals-nsw/vinnies-nsw-flood-appeal
https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/donate/make-a-donation/donate-online/?appeal=2022floodappealhp

Thank you to everyone for your support during these challenging times.

Please stay safe and drive carefully when on the roads.

Evacuation Centre
The Ocean Shores Country Club remains the evacuation centre for Byron Shire.

Connecting with loved ones
The Red Cross is managing a register to help people connect with loved ones who may have been impacted during this event.

Disaster funding
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is available for people impacted by a flood event.

The AGDRP is a one-off, non-means tested payment and is available to eligible people in the Byron Shire who have suffered a significant loss, including a severely damaged or destroyed home or serious injury.

The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) is also available.

The DRA helps employees, small business people and farmers who have lost income as a result of the floods.

The allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks payment from the date people have, or will lose, income as a result of the disaster.

The DRA is set at the maximum equivalent rate of the Jobseeker payment or Youth Allowance.

How to claim
Claims for the AGDRP and the DRA are open from 2pm today, 1 March 2022.
· Call Services Australia on 180 22 66.
· Via the myGov website.
· Go to the Services Australia website

Water height
While devastatingly fresh in our minds, impacted residents are being asked to measure and record the water height and save photos.

Council will be seeking this data in coming weeks to measure impacts and improve flood mapping and to support our claim for disaster recovery funding.

Sandhills childcare centre
The centre will remained closed for the remainder of the week until debris can be removed.

Council offices
The Byron Shire Council administration building will be closed until the end of the week and staff have also been personally impacted.

Council has been impacted by the major network outages and as a result our phone system and internet service continues to be down.

Communication services with phone and internet are limited. We are working hard to return to full services by Monday.

Our after hours service is available to take limited calls on 02 6622 7022.

We have skeleton staff available to access our remote systems and can be contact via email council@byron.nsw.gov.au

For all emergencies and life threatening situations please contact the SES 132 500 or 000.

People can also report road damage etc on the Report It tab on our website.

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2022 Floods

$300,000 funding agreement to help deliver flood resilient land in the Byron Shire

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Janelle Saffin, Paul Scully, Michael Lyon Resilient Lands Program Saddle Road Precinct
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$300,000 funding agreement to help deliver flood resilient land in the Byron Shire

 

The NSW Government is providing Byron Shire Council $300,000 through the Resilient Lands Program to provide safe, flood resilient land for new housing at the Saddle Road Precinct in Brunswick Heads.

The funding from the NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) will allow Council to complete a Structure Plan, Infrastructure Priority Plan, technical studies, and community engagement to investigate suitability for new housing and public infrastructure in the precinct.

Located on the western side of the Pacific Motorway, the site is just five minutes by car to Brunswick Heads and eight to Mullumbimby. It is well above projected flood heights which will provide opportunities for new homes off the flood plain.

Saddle Road is the third site to be identified under the RA’s Resilient Lands Program (RLP). The site is also the first to be identified outside of the Lismore LGA under the program, and has also been flagged in Byron Shire Council’s Residential Strategy as a key site for future residential development.

It follows the recent announcement of 400 new lots in East Lismore and up to 50 new households in the Mount Pleasant Estate at Goonellabah.

While the final number of homes at Saddle Road will be determined following detailed planning and community engagement, based on site-specifications, it is estimated between 500-800 homes could be delivered.

The RLP is accelerating the delivery of new land and housing options, linking with the $700 million Resilient Homes Program (RHP), giving flood impacted homeowners a pathway to move to a safer location.

The RA will work with RHP buyback participants to secure suitable and affordable land and will provide further support to those eligible who wish to relocate their existing homes.

For more information, visit NSW Reconstruction Authority.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“This funding is a win-win for the community and Byron Shire Council.

“Not only will it help to unlock flood-resilient lots for people to build on, it also helps Council and the NSW Government deliver on its promise of more homes for our growing population.

“The land is positioned near existing services and an established community and will provide a beautiful, safe place to live for those affected by the nearby flood plain.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery Janelle Saffin said:

“The announcement of this third site under the Resilient Lands Program is the first one outside of Lismore.

“Locals communities and Councils can be assured that the wheels of the RLP are starting to turn right across the Northern Rivers.

“This announcement will be followed by others in our local government areas and will see more land become available, giving people accepting buybacks in the Resilient Homes Program a variety of places to choose from.”

Byron Shire Council Mayor Michael Lyon said:

“We are thrilled to receive this initial funding support which will not only benefit members of our community displaced by the natural disasters in 2022, but also address the housing crisis that has existed since before the floods.

“Council can now get on with the important job of structure planning for this site on The Saddle Road and get the land ready for building flood-resilient houses more quickly which is a huge win.

“The work ahead includes an Aboriginal Heritage and Environmental Sensitivity Assessment, a Structure Plan that includes a vision and concept plan for the site, a Planning Proposal to amend Council’s LEP and an Infrastructure Priority Plan that addresses the infrastructure required to support a new community such as roads, sewer and water.

“As these works are progressed, we look forward to working with our community to achieve the best outcomes.”

 

For more Byron Bay news, click here.

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2022 Floods

Lismore’s Damaged Structures Demolished for New Facilities

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Lismore’s Damaged Structures Demolished for New Facilities

 

In a significant development for Lismore’s recovery, demolition work has started on eight buildings that were critically damaged during the 2022 flood disaster.

This marks a pivotal step in the city’s efforts to rebuild and revitalise affected areas.

Brett Lee, the Council’s program manager, highlighted the necessity of these demolitions for public safety and the future reactivation of the sites. “These buildings have long served the community, but the extensive damage from the February 2022 natural disaster means it’s time to clear the way for new developments,” he stated.

Demolition activities kicked off last week with the takedown of the old Essential Energy building located at the corner of Ballina Road and Conway Street. The next structures slated for removal include the old Scout Hall on Wilson Street and the Humbley Oval Hockey Club Kiosk.

Plans are also set for the demolition of the toilet block and pumphouse at Lismore Lake, to be replaced by a new modular toilet to serve the lake park patrons.

Furthermore, the weatherboard building at Sam Trimble Oval is due to be replaced with a new facility that includes an accessible toilet with timed locks, a large shade shelter, lockable storage, and utility access. The existing brick amenities block at this location will also undergo upgrades.

At Neilson Park in East Lismore, the canteen or old cricket shed will be razed to make room for a new modular toilet/changeroom. Similarly, the amenities block at Wade Park and McKenzie Park in North Lismore are scheduled for demolition to pave the way for the installation of modern modular toilets.

These developments are part of a broader initiative to not only enhance the infrastructure but also to ensure Lismore’s resilience and readiness for future challenges. The community looks forward to the completion of these projects, which promise improved amenities and a revitalized urban environment.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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2022 Floods

Jewellery Design Centre Launches “Tell Our Stories” to Celebrate Lismore’s History

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Jewellery Design Centre
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Jewellery Design Centre Launches “Tell Our Stories” to Celebrate Lismore’s History

 

Advertorial by Daniel Pinkerton

The Lismore Jewel Centre, a beloved fixture in the community, has reopened its doors in the Starcourt Arcade under a new name: Jewellery Design Centre. To celebrate they are launching a heartwarming initiative to commemorate the history and cherished memories of Lismore and the old store.

“Since reopening, we’ve had so many come and tell us how happy they are we’re back and share their fond memories of the old Jewel Centre” says owners Gary and Mariska Pinkerton.

“We love it, and so we want to invite more people to share their stories with us!”

The old Lismore Jewel Centre now known as Jewellery Design Centre now launches Launches "Tell Our Stories"

The old Lismore Jewel Centre. It will be missed dearly.

The ‘Tell Our Stories’ campaign invites locals to share their personal stories of connection, community and the special jewellery that has played an important role in their lives.

“The stories have played a special role in our lives too,” says Mariska.

“While we were closed after the flood, we did house calls and had customers come visit us at home which put a whole new light on the jewellery experience. All of a sudden the glitz was gone and our appointments were stripped back to just us and our customers. In this setting people naturally began to share their heart felt experiences with us, and we got to know them in a whole new way.”

It was this experience, they explain, that inspired the new Jewellery Design Centre in Lismore’s Starcourt Arcade.

“It’s smaller and not as ritzy as the old Jewel Centre was,” says Gary of the new store, “But for us it captures that feeling we felt when we would sit around dining tables with our customers.”

Jewellery Design Centre Launches "Tell Our Stories"

Just like home- a picture of the new interior’s cosy setting.

Gary and Mariska are now inviting community members to visit the store and share their own memories and experiences, with the chance to win exciting prizes.

Each person who shares their story online or in-store will be entered into a draw to win a $500 voucher, while those who have a piece repaired, remade, or custom-designed during the campaign period will have the opportunity to win a pair of $1,500 diamond earrings.

“We especially want to hear stories about the rich history of Lismore, memories of the old Jewel Centre or touching moments where jewellery has played a special part in your life.”

“More than the prizes, this is about celebrating the stories of the Northern Rivers and the memories that bind us together,” says Mariska.

Jewellery Design Centre Launches "Tell Our Stories"

Entries are open until May 24. For more information about the “Tell Our Stories” giveaway and how to participate, visit the Jewellery Design Centre in the Starcourt Arcade or follow the QR codes below to their social media channels.

 

For more business news, click here.

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