North Coast

Gunner Jarrad Gardner clears debris at the flood-damaged Blakebrook Public School near Lismore, northern NSW, as part of Operation Flood Assist 2022. Photo: Corporal Sagi Biderman

Flood clean-up tops 100,000 tonnes

The clean-up effort in the Northern Rivers region is nearing completion, with almost 22,000 truckloads of waste cleared from flood-affected communities and 940 cubic metres of debris removed from beaches and waterways.

Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the significant progress is thanks to the combined effort of emergency crews, local councils, NSW Government agencies and many others working in the clean-up process.

“Around 105,000 tonnes of waste has been removed from flood-affected areas and deposited at facilities in Alstonville and Coraki. That’s equivalent to over 135 Olympic swimming pools,” Mr Toole said.

“The bulk of flood waste is being cleared from the temporary waste transfer facilities across these local government areas, and as waste collection transitions back into local council waste facilities, the temporary waste transfer facilities in Alstonville, Coraki and Lismore will be stood down.”

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the clean-up has been an emotional process for flood-affected communities.

“Kerbside piles of debris, including personal possessions destroyed by floodwaters, have been a constant reminder of the devastation,” Ms Cooke said.

“Residents who have finished cleaning up can also access a free property assessment. They will be provided with a scope of repair works and, if a property is deemed unsafe or beyond economical repair, the owner can have the demolition and removal of waste services undertaken at zero cost.”

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the shoreline clean-up being managed by the NSW Environment Protection Authority is assisting with the removal of waste from waterways in these impacted areas.

“Debris is being collected from rivers, estuaries and beaches in impacted areas using boats, cranes, barges and hand picking,” Mr Griffin said.

“Since the beginning of March, a total of 4,340 cubic metres of debris has been removed from impacted waterways across all of NSW. Almost a quarter of that came from the Tweed, Richmond and Wilsons rivers and the beaches around Ballina.”

Further information about the flood clean-up is available at: www.nsw.gov.au/floods.

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