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2022 Floods

Council delivers on community recovery challenge

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Kyogle floods, 2022 as council delivers on community recovery challange.

Council delivers on community recovery challenge

 

Kyogle Council

Kyogle Council has emerged from the most challenging period ever faced by the organisation and its people having completed more than $88 million in flood damage and capital works in a 12-month period, Mayor Cr Kylie Webster (Thomas) said at the release of Council’s Annual Report.

Following the catastrophic 2022 floods, Council was faced with a massive flood repair program and a worrying shortage of resources to undertake the rebuild and recovery.

“That meant Council had to be innovative in the way it worked and prepared to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances,” Cr Webster said.

“The success of this strategy can be seen in the record-breaking amount of work we’ve been able to complete in the 12 months to July 2023.”

The $88 million work program completed is $61 million more than the previous record of $27 million set in 2021/2022.

Cr Webster said Council’s financial position remained strong despite the challenges generated by the floods.

“We are in a good position going forward, with money in the bank and grants coming in at a higher than expected rate,” she said.

“It’s been an extremely challenging time for everyone, and on behalf of the Councillors, I want to thank our valuable staff. Even during the flood restoration works program, Council staff exceeded expectations and continue to deliver a high level of service to the various communities in our shire.

“The Council would also like to acknowledge the community for their support and understanding during this challenging period and thank the many people who have taken the time to contact and thank staff for their efforts.”

“As challenging as last financial year was, Council has once again proved it’s ability to punch well above its weight.”

Cr Webster also thanked her fellow Councillors for their support and acknowledged the important role they played in setting the strategic priorities and providing the resources needed to overcome the challenges of the past 18 months.

The annual report, which is available on Council’s website, provides details of Council’s operations over the 2022-2023 financial year including a summary of achievements.

Kyogle floods, 2022 as council delivers on community recovery challange.

Kyogle floods, 2022.

Achievements include:

  • A total of 32 timber bridges replaced with concrete or steel structures – 29 bridges replaced under the Fixing Country Bridges Program, two bridges jointly funded by Fixing Country Bridges and the Bridge Renewal Program and one bridge completed under the Kyogle Page Bridge Package;
  • 15.3km of sealed roads rehabilitated;
  • 409.4km of roads re-sheeted/graded, which includes the emergency works associated with the February 2022 floods and natural disaster;
  • More than 59,000 potholes patched;
  • Initial sealing of 1km section of Dyraaba Road completed under the Fixing Local Roads Program;
  • Collins Creek Road initial seal to Tims Lane completed using a combination of flood damage and Council co-contributions to build back better;
  • 1,185.04 tonnes of material recycled
  • 33,568 visits to Kyogle library
  • Continued support of the Kyogle Writers Festival, Pumpkin Festival and a series of other events across the LGA;
  • Bonalbo Caravan Park refurbishment completed;
  • 42,620 pool attendances;
  • Purchasing of land at Tabulam for future water and sewerage treatment plants;
  • Implemented a new three-bin waste collection service for general waste, recyclables and food and organics waste including community education campaign;
  • Adopted the Flying-fox Camp Management Plan and developed protocols for managing extreme weather incidents and works near the flying-fox camp;
  • Successful in securing $200,000 grant from the Environmental Trust and LGNSW to create 4.7 hectares of flying-fox habitat north of the Kyogle Recreation Reserve;
  • Installed three separate displays in Kyogle to showcase the Sinclair Collection – a substantial collection of minerals, crystals and fossils gifted to Council by the family of the late Lloyd and Glenys Sinclair;
  • Continuing marketing of the ‘Kyogle Up for It’ campaign to promote tourism and visitors to the Kyogle LGA;
  • Eleven exhibitions held in the Roxy Gallery showcasing local artists and ten exhibitions in the ‘Steppin’ Up Gallery’ to support young, emerging artists and artists living with a disability;
  • KMI Hall Supper Room improvements completed;
  • Secured betterment funding for Grieves Crossing and the Clarence Way to allow for building back better post flooding natural disaster;
  • Mobile phone blackspot mapping completed across the LGA.
  • 91 development applications approved with a total value of $15.64 million

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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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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