Tweed Council will advocate to the New South Wales and Federal Governments for additional funding to support local businesses, following the recent catastrophic floods – releasing a survey to collect related data.

Senior Economic Development Business Facilitation Officer, Kym Kranen, said Council was drawing on experiences gathered in 2017 after the devastating impact of ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie.

“The more data from businesses we can collect, the more likely the chances of gaining greater assistance,” Ms Kranen said.

“That is why it is so important that we get as many Tweed businesses hit by this flooding to fill in our survey so we can present their circumstances to the government.”.”

Council encourages all local businesses to complete the survey on the Your Say Tweed Business Flood Impact Assessment page to help it get a clear picture of the number of businesses affected and the extent of damage.

Council requests residents complete the survey by Friday 18 March 2022.

Natural disaster assistance is also available to help businesses directly affected by floods with the Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) provided to affected Tweed businesses.

The DRA assists employees, small business persons and farmers who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster.

This allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks’ payment from the date someone experiences or will have a loss of income as a direct result of a disaster.

The DRA payment is set at the maximum equivalent rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance, depending on personal circumstances, and is taxable.

Council working to restore essential services 

Mayor of Tweed, Chris Cherry, said a clear picture of the damage was yet to emerge, with communities still cut off and power and internet patchy.

“What is clear is that there is much work to be done both in terms of rebuilding our roads, infrastructure and communities in the coming days, weeks and months and we will be seeking assistance from all levels of government for this,” Mayor Cherry said.

Water

A large part of the Tweed’s water supply network has been restored, however all of the Tweed remains on Level 4 water restrictions as the water treatment plants start producing water and topping up reservoirs.

Level 4 water restrictions mean the water supply is for essential use only: food preparation, drinking water and personal hygiene. Water should not be used to hose down outdoor areas for cleaning up and only to be used sparingly if cleaning is required indoors for hygiene reasons.

One major water pump station is still out, with two restored overnight. A number of sewer pump stations are still flooded and not operating.

Water remains safe to drink, except at South Murwillumbah/Dunbible and Uki, where residents must boil water first.

Roads

Damage to the road network is significant and widespread. The whole road network is effectively on a caution and residents have been warned by the Council not to drive unless essential.

“Please don’t be a rubbernecker – disaster tourism is the last thing families and businesses need right now while they’re traumatised and trying to get on with the grim task of cleaning up,” Mayor Cherry said.

“It’s also dangerous. Many roads have large amounts of mud on them and will remain closed until they can be made safe.

“There are major landslips on Byrrill Creek Road, Mt Warning Road, Reserve Creek Road, as well as causeways and bridges washed out – the list is getting longer.

“Kyogle Road, Tyalgum Road and Scenic Drive have major damage and are all closed.

“Council’s focus is on getting the road network open but only in terms of it being passable.”

Waste

Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre remains closed due to flooding of the site and roads leading to the site. Council’s waste contractor, Solo Resource Recovery, is trying to get trucks into the community to service bins, where they can access streets.

Council requests residents place  bins on the kerb on their normal collection day and leave them there until they can be serviced. 

 “We know everyone’s keen to clean up and we’re currently working on a clean-up plan for flood impacted communities and will have more details shortly,” Mayor Cherry said.

“For the moment, please keep any waste generated from flooding on your property – it can be out the front if you need to – until we have further information available.”

This is a developing story, stay up to date on the East Coast flood crisis here. 

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