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Council preparing to open the mouth of Belongil Creek

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Council preparing to open the mouth of Belongil Creek

Council preparing to open the mouth of Belongil Creek

Byron Shire Council is preparing to open the mouth of Belongil Creek on Thursday (1 July).
It comes after an excavator this week scraped back the sandbar which is stopping the creek flowing into the ocean, in the hope the creek would open by itself.

This did not happen and the sandbar continues to act as a dam, not allowing water to escape and causing inundation in some areas of the floodplain.

The water level in the Belongil is currently very high (1.32m) and rainfall predicted this week will increase the risk of flooding the catchment.
James Flockton, Council’s Infrastructure Planning Coordinator, said manually opening the creek is a last resort as it increases the risk of a fish kill.

“Belongil Creek, and nearby Tallow Creek, are extremely sensitive ecosystems and while our responsibility is to manage these waterways to mitigate flooding in the catchment, our aim is to have as little impact on the environment as possible,” Mr Flockton said.

“One of the big problems is that when a sandbar is opened there is often a very fast release of water from the creek and this can cause a fish kill,” he said.
The higher the water level gets behind the sand bar, the greater the risk of flooding in the catchment. 

“Allowing the water to continue to build up behind the sandbank and spread across the floodplain means the water is poor quality because of decomposed vegetation like grass and this then flows quickly down the creek and also increases the risk of a fish kill,” Mr Flockton said.

“We are hoping that the wet weather will help reduce the chance of a fish kill – that’s the last thing we want to see,” he said.
Belongil Creek and nearby Tallow Creek are ICOLLs, intermittently open and closed lagoon systems.

Council has been continuously monitoring the water levels and is in regular communication with authorities including the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Environment and the Marine Parks Authority.

“We have communicated to all agencies to let them know we are going to open the sandbar,” Mr Flockton said.

Tallow Creek is also closed to the ocean and staff are closely monitoring water levels, the sandbar and rainfall predictions.
Information about Tallow Creek and Belongil Creek is on Council’s website.

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Take part in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count

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Aussie Backyard Bird Count and Lismore City Council

Take part in this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count

Next week marks the start of the week-long Aussie Backyard Bird Count and Lismore City Council is once again encouraging the community to get involved.

You can take part anywhere – your backyard, local park, botanical gardens, or schoolyard – wherever you might see birds.

Council’s Environmental Strategies Officer Wendy Neilan said the count not only helps identify trends in our bird activity, but it also enables the public to make an important contribution to citizen science from their own home.

“The bird count results in a nationwide snapshot of how birds are tracking with wonderful citizen scientists out there counting birds using the same method at the same time of year, each year, which is creating a picture of our bird communities and whether there are any changes over time,” she said.

“Most importantly it’s about getting out, having fun, and enjoying nature as we are so lucky to live in such a biodiverse part of Australia with so many opportunities to see native birds in their natural habitats, including our own backyards.”

Download the free Aussie Bird Count app, walk outside and look to the sky, the trees, the ground and the water – and start counting.

Just spend 20 minutes in your favourite outdoor space and count the birds you see.

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is among Australia’s biggest citizen science projects, and not only will you be helping science, participants also involved report feeling happier, more relaxed, and closer to nature after completing a count.

In addition to being able to count using the app on a smartphone, there is a printable form available at www.aussiebirdcount.org.au.

This annual Birdlife Australia citizen science event runs from 18 October to 24 October.

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Local News

Grants available to bring community together on Australia Day

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Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding if they are planning to host a community event on Australia Day in 2022.
Council is encouraging community groups to apply for funding if they are planning to host a community event on Australia Day in 2022.

Grants available to bring community together on Australia Day

Applications open for Australia Day events

Council is offering financial assistance to community groups to hold small events on Australia Day 2022.

To be eligible for funding, the event must take place on Wednesday 26 January 2022 and be a public event which is accessible to the public.

Any community organisation requesting financial assistance for an event must be Tweed-based and provide an outline of the event.

The organisation must be incorporated and also hold Public Liability Insurance.

Funds are not to be used for a social activity for members of the community organisation exclusively and no financial assistance will be given to privately-owned businesses or companies.

There are 3 levels of funding available:

Category 1 – $300 for up to 149 attendees

Category 2 – $400 from 150 to 249 attendees

Category 3 – $500 for 250-plus attendees

Eligible applications will be assessed by the Tweed Shire Australia Day Awards Selection Panel on Wednesday 27 October 2021.

Successful applicants will be required to place event details on Council’s calendar of events whatsontweed.com.au to ensure the public has information of the event.

The successful applicant must also recognise Council’s support for the event on the day and in all promotional material.

All relevant approvals will need to be applied for and must be in place if the event is to be held on Council-managed land such as a park or beach.

The release of funding is subject to the organisers committing to keep attendees safe by following NSW Public Health Orders at the time.

To apply, please complete the application form on Council’s Australia Day webpage and return your application to Council by Friday 22 October 2021.

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Parking and landscaping coming to Mullumbimby’s Stuart St

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Federal Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Parking and landscaping coming to Mullumbimby’s Stuart St

The next stage of the Green Spine project in Stuart Street Mullumbimby will start on 11 October 2021.

The Green Spine was a key priority identified in the Mullumbimby Masterplan, produced in cooperation with representatives from community groups including the Mullumbimby Residents Association, Mullum Cares and Creative Mullum.

The aim of the project is to formalise parking on the southern section of Stuart Street along with an on-road bike lane in the residential area, as well as landscaping including the planting of what will grow to be an avenue of green, shady, native trees.

Council has advised residents and businesses on Stuart Street that 20 trees, including golden cane palms and invasive African Tulip trees will be removed as part of the work.

Phil Holloway, Director Infrastructure Services, said Council does not take the removal of trees lightly however many have been privately planted on Council’s road reserve and new landscaping plans will incorporate even more trees that are native and will provide better habitat for wildlife.

“Of course we know the value our community puts on trees and some will say that we should not be removing existing trees to plant more but nine of these are invasive species and toxic to some bees and the majority of the others are not native either.

“We will be building new garden beds and planting 28 trees that are mature nursery stock that have been selected because they are appropriate native species for this area and will grow up to provide shade and habitat for birds and animals,” Mr Holloway said.

The Green Spine project also includes:
Line marking for car parks in the commercial zone
A land-scaped transition zone to reflect the change in speed limit from 50km/hr to 30km/hr
On-road bike lane in the residential area
Footpaths extended on both sides of Stuart Street to Fern Street
Letters have been distributed to businesses and residents in the area and the Mullumbimby Residents Association and the Chamber of Commerce have been notified.

“This project aims to make this part of Mullumbimby a green, shady space that is safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers while providing parking for people wanting to shop in the CBD,” Mr Holloway said.

The project will take approximately two months with the aim being to finish in early-mid December.

Information about the Stuart Street Green Spine project and the Mullumbimby Masterplan is available on Council’s website.

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