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Yamba News

Report picks holes in flood plan

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Report picks holes in flood plan

By Tim Howard

A controversial flood plain development in West Yamba should be shelved after an independent report found significant shortcoming in its Flood Emergency Management Plan says a residents group.

The acting president of the Yamba Community Action Network, Alex Devantier said the report from engineering and planning consultants Rhelm into the Flood Emergency Management Plan for the 136-lot multi-dwelling development at 8 Park Lane, West Yamba, was “scathing”.

“All in all the findings are that the current proposal is unsatisfactory from a flooding and emergency management perspective,” he said.

State Government planning instrument, The Northern Regional Planning will hold its third public meeting into the development on October 26.

At its last meeting in July the NRPP deferred making a determination and sought an independent assessment of flood risk and emergency evacuation procedures.

At the time panel chair Paul Mitchell noted the development had been substantially approved and it questions around emergency management that failed to deal with residents’ concerns that was halting approval.

Developers Hometown Australia Pty Ltd submitted a FEMP, from Bewsher Consulting, in June, prior to the second NRPP meeting, but the panel adjourned to allow a more detailed investigation into the plan.

Rhelm provided a 22-page analysis of the Bewsher Consulting document, which revealed  shortcomings in the emergency plan.

It noted failure to acknowledge climate change effects meant the development was not sufficiently filled to be above a 1 in 100 year flood.

It said the development would require extra filling to reach 3.7mAHD or require houses to have piers that lifted the floor level above 3.7mAHD.

“A flood impact assessment is required of the effects of the proposed fill and retaining walls on the conveyance of stormwater flows within the existing perimeter stormwater drains or any potential effects on existing adjacent properties,” the report also noted.

The Rhelm report was also critical of the proposal in the FEMP to provide flood shelter in a clubhouse building within the development, pointing out the proposal was “divergent from state guidance and practice.”

“Residents sheltering in place are unlikely to have sufficient space or amenities and therefore likely to impose an additional pressure on the NSW SES with respect to the need for resupply and also with respect to potential medical evacuation requirements.

“Additionally, the proposed floor level of the shelter area would need to be further elevated to 4.5 mAHD to allow for projected climate change, otherwise there is potential for the refuge itself to be inundated.

“Based on these findings, the current proposal is unsatisfactory from a flooding and emergency management perspective.”

Mr Devantier was also critical of the Clarence Valley Council which he said was too quick to approve the DA despite legitimate concerns of resident around flood mitigation and drainage issues.

“Council appears to be just accepting what a developer provides in the DA without considering existing residents,” he said,

“Upon inquiry council informed it has not been provided the details of the new stormwater drain along the southern boundary on the inside of the 1.6m high retaining wall.

“Council also has not been provided details of the pumps to be located in the drain in the backyards of properties along Yamba Road.

“How can Council staff accurately assess the stormwater has been mitigated?”

Mr Devantier said despite these issues Councils assessment report dated July 11, 2022, stated “Council staff are satisfied that the development will improve the existing stormwater drainage issues having a beneficial result to adjoining landowners.”

He said residents had shown in a number of presentations the serious stormwater inundation that affected the area during the flooding in February and March this year.

These presentations revealed fish swimming in floodwater in the yards of residents neighbouring the development, revealing both storm water run off and river breaches contributed to the flooding.

“When will council start considering the detrimental impacts of stormwater inundation on existing residents in town,” he said.

“Roads were closed, first by stormwater and then days later when the flood crest reached Yamba.

“People living to the west of Yamba main town could not get to the SES designated flood evacuation centre. Existing residents, who pay rates, are being forgotten.”

He said Yamba CAN as the group which formed in September has become known has booked a room at the Yamba Golf Club on October 26 for residents to make their submissions to the NRPP.

The meeting will be held via video conference.

People with Inquiries or wishing to address the panel or listen to this meeting, must register by contacting the Planning Panels Secretariat before 4pm Monday, October 24 on 02 8217 2060 or via email to enquiry@planningpanels.nsw.gov.au. The meeting begins at 3pm.

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Yamba’s Kick Flips and Tail Whips Skate comp returns for Youth Week

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Yamba’s Kick Flips and Tail Whips Skate comp returns for Youth Week

 

The Kick Flips and Tail Whips skateboard and scooter competition will be back in the coastal town of Yamba on Friday, April 19, as part of the Clarence Valley’s 2024 Youth Week celebrations.

The competition, popular with local skaters, has different age divisions and prizes to give away.

Getting It Together, a youth team with the not-for-profit organisation Social Futures, in collaboration with Clarence Valley Council organises the event. (Getting it Together supports young people aged 12-25 achieve positive change when using drugs and alcohol; and building self-esteem and healthy life skills.)

Social Futures Children, Youth and Families Manager Kiara McBeath said coastal Yamba was the perfect place for the comp because skateboarding originated in the beach towns of California and Hawaii.

“Back in the 1950s, when there was no surf, some surfers came up with the idea of riding the street,” Ms McBeath said.

“They put metal wheels on short surfboards and called themselves ‘asphalt surfers’ then a toy designer saw them. In 1959 Roller Derby released the first manufactured skateboard and in 1963 the first skateboard competition was held at Hermosa Beach, California … as they say the rest is history.”

Registration opens for the Yamba Kick Flips and Tail Whips skateboard and scooter competition at 10.30am, for an 11am start, and a 3pm planned finish. (School students will be on term break.)

Ms McBeath said not only do competitors have fun, but the event is great to see.

“I still can’t believe how many tricks there are. There are flatland and flip tricks, slides and grinds, aerials and grab tricks, lip, inverts and event handplant tricks and then we have the freestyle and old school tricks.”

Clarence Valley Council’s Youth Officer, Allira Newton, describes the competition as a key event on Clarence Valley’s annual Youth Week Calendar.

“Yamba Kick Flips and Tail Whips never fails to disappoint participants and spectators alike,” Ms Newton said.

“This competition has been an ongoing partnership between Social Futures and the Clarence Valley Council since 2019, and we love seeing this event happen each year and the amazing young talent it showcases.”

Skaters and scooters can register ahead of the event here. In case of bad weather check the Clarence Valley Youth page for updates on the event.

 

For more sports news, click here.

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Local News

Flood resilience meeting keeps pressure on leaders

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Flood resilience meeting

Flood resilience meeting keeps pressure on leaders

 

By Tim Howard

The Yamba community is building pressure on community leaders to better recognise the risks to  residents posed through allowing development on flood plains.

On Sunday community groups the Yamba Community Action Network and Valley Watch have combined to hold a public meeting to discuss flood awareness and resilience.

YambaCAN secretary Lynne Cairns said the meeting would focus on enhancing the community’s understanding of flood risks, improving preparedness, and fostering collaboration between community and emergency support services.

“We aim to work constructively towards improving our collective response to flood risks through open dialogue and collaboration with the community and Clarence Valley Council,” Ms Cairns said.

“We have sent invitations to the Member for Clarence Richie Williamson, the council general manager Laura Black, senior staff and also all councillors stating: We apologise for this late notification, however after A Current Affair visited and filmed a development in Yamba proceeding on the floodplain and devastating residents’ lives and livelihoods, followed by numerous articles in our local newspaper, it was decided to quickly follow up with a community meeting.”

Streets in the West Yamba Urban Release area were inundated in February and March 2022 when a rain event hit the Northern Rivers.

The heavy rainfall caused flash flooding and combined with flood waters from the Clarence River and high tides resulted in properties remaining cut off for days.

Residents reported fish swimming in their back yards as water levels persisted to remain high days after their properties first wend under.

They said the massive amounts of fill to lift homes above the flood level in the area have caused floodwater to spread into existing developments.

Ms Cairns said posters advertising the meeting were being distributed around town and a letter box drop was also occurring.

She said Greens MLC Sue Higginson would be the keynote speaker and other invitees would also have a chance to address the meeting.

There would also be a slide show demonstrating how the 2022 flood event affected the area and its duration.

She said in addition to Mr Williamson and the council officers and councillors, the SES, NSW Fire and Rescue, the NSW Ambulance and police had also been invited to take part.

She said the issues residents wanted clarified were:

  • How to understand your risk
  • How can you evacuate?
  • Where can you evacuate to?
  • How high was the last flood?
  • How high could the next flood be?
  • How high is your home’s floor level?
  • When is the right time to evacuate?
  • What resources and support can you access?
  • What is your personal flood response plan?
  • What does the future hold for flood management?

She said the ACA clip was available on the program website here.

She the clip provided a good overview of the problems facing residents.

The ‘Yamba Get Ready – Flood Awareness and Resilience Meeting’ will be held at 2.45pm for 3pm start on Sunday in the Yamba Golf and Country Club, River Street, Yamba.

 

For more Yamba news, click here.

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Local News

Yamba chants makes ACA

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Yamba CAN A Current Affair

Yamba chants makes ACA

By Tim Howard

Yamba residents turned up the volume with their favourite chants when A Current Affair came calling last week.

The secretary of the Yamba Community Action Network, Lynne Cairns, said not even some wet weather could keep residents indoors.

“Yamba CAN sincerely thanks all those who could attend,” she said.

“It was such a fantastic effort, particularly, due to the inclement weather, we cannot thank you enough.

“This is how we can, and need to make a difference.”

Mrs Cairns said residents were encouraged to shout out their chants: “STOP THE FILL” — “DON’T DROWN OUR TOWN” for the cameras.

“It was so sincere,” she said. “This is something obviously close to the hearts of people in West Yamba.”

The segment aired on A Current Affair on Tuesday night, but anyone who missed it can catch up on A Current Affair website.

Ms Cairns said show filmed at the Park Ave development entrance and did some interview. They moved to Yamba Rd and interviewed a number of residents who were affected in the flooding of February and March 2022.

Yamba residents continue to be dismayed at the number of developments being approved for the Yamba flood plain.

Ms Cairns said the only way for these developments to go ahead is for massive amounts of fill to be dumped on the sites to allow houses to be built above the flood level.

She said some of approved developments and sites that have been filled in Yamba include: a 161 small lot subdivision in Carrs Drive, Yamba (3 stages – Parklands); a 193 manufactured housing estate at 90 Carrs Drive, Yamba (Clifton); a 136-lot manufactured housing estate at 8 Park Avenue, Yamba; a 52 senior living small lot subdivision at 75 Carrs Drive Yamba; a 78 manufactured housing estate at Orion Drive, Yamba (71 two storey and seven single storey buildings); a 72-lot subdivision in the Quays estate, Yamba (stage 5 yet to be released); a 6 lot subdivision in Sullivans Road, Yamba; 84 units at 4 Freeburn Street, Yamba (Caroona aged care facility); 17 apartments at 6 Yamba Road, Yamba (Habitat – 3 storey buildings); and 14 townhouses at 3 Mulgi Street, Yamba.

Proposed developments in West Yamba are a 284 small lot subdivision at 52 – 54 Miles Street, corner of Carrs Drive, Yamba (Kahuna), and one currently on exhibition is a 216 manufactured housing estate at 120 Carrs Drive, Yamba (Clifton).

Residents say ion 2022 stormwater inundated existing properties and homes on the floodplain,.

The amount of fill increased the instances of flash flooding impacting properties during heavy rain that are decreased property values.

“Yamba’s infrastructure and road network was unable to cope with current and proposed development, the negative impact of more trucks dumping more fill which is reportedly cracking house walls and fences, resulting in home insurance being either cost prohibitive, or unobtainable, for residents,” Ms Cairns said.

In early March residents raised a change.org petition to convince Clarence Valley Council to stop approving developments on the floodplain.

Ms Cairns said by signing the petition, people request that the Mayor and councillors of the Clarence Valley ensure three key aspects are actioned:

  • Council prepares a planning proposal for submission to the Department of Planning and Environment requesting that the vacant lands, which do not have development approval for subdivision, in the West Yamba Urban Release Area (WYURA) be rezoned from Residential (R1) to Conservation (C2) zoning or a mix of Conservation (C2) and Rural (RU2) based on the impacts of further development on the environment and the risk to human life and property from future flooding.
  • Council writes to the NSW Minister for Planning requesting the Minister to prevent any further development on the west Yamba flood plain that will negatively impact on flooding in the whole of west Yamba township.
  • Council’s engagement and notification of all matters is current, transparent, accessible, and inclusive for all Clarence Valley Council community members.

To sign the petition visit here.

 

For more Yamba news, click here.

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