Clean-up nets over 2,000 tonnes of wrack and debris

More than 220 tonnes of wrack and flood debris has been collected so far by Council workers from about four kilometres of foreshores since the storm floods in early March.

Another 1.4 tonnes of seagrass wrack and almost 1,200 tonnes of other storm related waste has been taken to Council’s waste facilities by residents.

Council workers have also collected 710 tonnes of debris washed up on beaches along the Central Coast.

During the storm clean-up over the past month, bulk kerbside rubbish collections increased to about 1,000 a day, compared to an average of about 600 a day prior to the flood.

The good news is that more than 70 percent of this storm related waste at Council’s two tips has been recycled or diverted from landfill.

All beaches are now open, following some closures over water quality concerns and safety from floating debris, but still people should make informed decisions about swimming by checking the NSW Government’s daily pollution predictions, listening to lifeguard and lifesavers’ instructions and keeping an eye on Council’s beaches update webpage for more information.

Council workers have also been busy cleaning up fallen trees, repairing roads and so far they have repaired more than 3,000 potholes.

Meanwhile, the Australian and NSW governments are looking ahead to the next stage of the clean-up, with recovery assistance and grants being provided through the joint Commonwealth/State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Those whose home or belongings have been damaged or destroyed can apply for a lump sum payment of $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for each eligible child under the age of 16.

Support for impacted small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations is also available through DRFA.

This will also provide assistance for: the clean-up of essential public assets and community, recreation and cultural assets including sporting fields; help for primary producers and small business to clean-up and dispose of flood-related debris from their properties; the clean-up and restoration of environmental assets; and, funds to cover additional costs incurred by affected councils and relevant state agencies.

Grants for small businesses and primary producers are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including salvaging crops and repairs to damaged farm infrastructure and equipment.

More information is available by contacting the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

Sue Murray