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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.”

 

 

 

 

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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2022 Floods

Community house raising workshop brings local experience and expert knowledge to Byron Shire

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House raising workshop Mullumbimby

Community house raising workshop brings local experience and expert knowledge to Byron Shire

 

Thursday 21 March 2024
Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall
www.llnr.com.au/whatson

Living Lab Northern Rivers is inviting the Byron Shire community to a free workshop in Mullumbimby to learn more about house raising and what they need to think about before they start their project.

The workshop is designed to assist anyone considering raising their home – old or new – to protect themselves from future floods. Whether they’ve qualified for government assistance, or they’re just taking the initiative, the goal is to help them think through the critical issues to make their project truly successful.

Hosted by Dan Etheridge, Engagement Director of Living Lab Northern Rivers, together with staff from James Davidson Architects, attendees will hear personal stories of people who have raised their houses in flood prone areas across the Northern Rivers and Brisbane. The presenters will be sharing practical steps on lifting homes to a safer level and highlighting the challenges and opportunities that this change can create.

There will also be Byron Shire Council Planning and Recovery Officers there to answer any questions about relevant regulations and requirements in the area. A case manager from NSW Reconstruction Authority will be in attendance to assist with any specific property questions.

House raising workshop Mullumbimby

House raising workshop Mullumbimby

Dan Etheridge expressed the importance of careful consideration before starting a house raising project.

“There are beautiful old houses across the Northern Rivers, and raising them out of harm’s way allows them to continue sheltering and protecting our families as they’ve done for many decades. This workshop is designed to help people decide what’s best for them and their home, before engaging anyone to work. This way, they’re in a good position to drive their project towards a clear and well-considered outcome. Then they can enjoy their new perch, from a little higher in the sky”.

The workshop is free and all are welcome to attend. Places are limited so registration via the Living Lab Northern Rivers website is essential.

How High? Thinking through a successful house raising project
Presented by Living Lab Northern Rivers
Thursday 21 March 2024, 5.00pm—6.30pm
Multipurpose Room, Mullumbimby Civic Memorial Hall
55 Dalley Street, Mullumbimby NSW 2482
Free. All are welcome.
Places are limited and registration is essential.
This venue is wheelchair accessible.

 

For more 2022 floods news, click here.

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