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2022 Floods

Budget includes significant flood repair investment

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Budget includes significant flood repair investment

 

RICHMOND Valley Council’s 2022-2023 Budget includes a significant $50,611,790 capital works program to help the community recover from the devastating February-March flood events.

 

A further $24,120,310 has been earmarked for 2023-2024 projects.

 

The Budget also shows surplus budgets for all four years of the delivery program, including $257,786 in 2022-2023.

 

Following the floods, Council implemented a modified Integrating Planning and Reporting Program, which saw the Rebuilding the Richmond Valley Recovery Plan being adopted at Tuesday night’s Council meeting as the 2022-2023 Delivery Program, supported by the 2022-2023 Operational Plan.

 

Council will be implementing a new Community Strategic Plan in 2023.

 

General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the Recovery Plan set out Council’s vision to help restore the Richmond Valley over the next three years, in partnership with the community, disaster support agencies and State and Federal governments.

 

Mr Macdonald said it would be of little surprise to residents and ratepayers that this year’s budget had been a challenging one to construct.

 

“Putting together the budget is never an easy task and this year was no different,” Mr Macdonald said.

 

“As a Council, we must find a way to balance our visions with the financial resources available, while taking into account the needs of our communities.

 

“Council has a good working relationship with its communities, and has been diligent in listening to community and business needs and aspirations.”

 

Mr Macdonald said the Richmond Valley’s 1175km road network was severely damaged by flooding  and it would take at least three years to repair all the damage.

 

He said Council was assessing the full extent of the repairs required and expected further damage would emerge in the post-flood period as saturated pavements began to fail.

 

“At present, the estimated repair bill stands at $100 million, not including the cost of repairing major landslips in North Casino,” Mr Macdonald said.

 

“Council will continue restoration works from the flooding and replace infrastructure, such as bitumen reseals, gravel re-sheeting and key drainage infrastructure right across the Valley.”

 

Key roads include: Bentley Road, Bungawalbin-Whiporie Road, Naughtons Gap Road, Rappville Road, Upper Cherry Tree Road, Woodburn-Coraki Road and Woodburn-Evans Head Road.

 

Other priority actions for our flood-affected communities include: simplify and fast-track approvals for rebuild and restoration works; advocate for temporary housing; repairs to community facilities, as well as repairs to sewage pump stations and treatment plants.

 

Mr Macdonald said Council would conduct a six-monthly review on progress throughout the life of the Recovery Plan and the community would receive regular updates through community newsletters, social media and Council’s website.

 

The 2022-2023 Budget also includes some increases to rates and annual charges:

 

  • General rates to increase by 5.50 percent consistent with the approved special rate variation. From 2023-2024 onwards, a rate peg of 2.5% has been assumed, in line with TCorp benchmarks.
  • Domestic waste charge to increase by 3.23 percent.
  • Non-domestic waste charge to increase by 4.58 percent.
  • Annual water charges to increase by 5 percent.
  • Annual sewerage charges to increase by 3.2 percent.
  • NRLX Agents Business Usage Fee – Bull & Stud Sales 0.30 percent of sales revenue.

 

Mr Macdonald said Council had invested significant funds into upgrading the NRLX over recent years, resulting in major improvements to the health and safety of workers and cattle – and an increase in cattle sales.

 

However, he said increasing operational expenses affected the return Council received on its investment, making it necessary to review the fee structure at the NRLX to address this disparity.

 

“Although cattle prices and revenues have increased significantly, the proportion of revenue Council receives from NRLX sales, and bull and stud sales in particular, has not kept pace with this growth,” Mr Macdonald said.

 

“Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed the advertised fee structure for 2022-2023 be adopted, to ensure the community continues to receive a return on its investment.

 

“Agents in particular have been doing very well and it’s timely their fees move to being more reflective of the benefits they reap from operating at such a high-quality facility.”

 

 

 

 

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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

$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

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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