WaterNSW re-issues red alert for blue green algae bloom for Toonumbar Dam and Iron Pot Creek

Council has been advised by WaterNSW that Toonumbar Dam and downstream Iron Pot Creek remain at Red Alert level for blue green algae.
Very high concentrations of potentially toxic Chrysosporum ovalisporum have been recorded at the dam wall, the boat ramp and down stream of the dam.
As the dam continues to spill, downstream users should exercise caution and keep an eye out for signs of cyanobacteria.
An algal red alert represents ‘bloom’ conditions. Water will appear green or discoloured and clumps or scums could be visible. It can also give off a strong musty or organic odour.
Algae may be toxic to humans and animals. Contact with or use of water from red alert areas should be avoided due to the risk of eye and skin irritation.
Drinking untreated or boiled water from these supplies can cause stomach upsets. Alternative water supplies should be sought or activated carbon treatment employed to remove toxins.
People should not fish when an algal scum is present. Owners should keep dogs away from high alert areas and provide alternative watering points for stock.
Updates and information about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting the Water NSW website by following this link.

NSW council elections to be held on 4 September 2021

The delayed NSW Local Government elections will be held on Saturday, 4 September 2021.

The elections were originally to be held last year, but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voting in local government elections are compulsory.

 

 

Bush Fire Danger Period begins 1 September

The Bush Fire Danger Period for the Kyogle Council area will start on Tuesday, 1 September, 2020.
The Bush Fire Danger Period will also start on Tuesday for the Richmond Valley, Lismore, Ballina and Byron local government areas.
The introduction of the Bush Fire Danger Period means that any one wanting to a light a fire from Tuesday will require a fire permit.
Persons wishing to light a fire at any time throughout the year are required to notify the NSW Rural Fire Service and all adjoining neighbours 24 hours prior to lighting. Failure to comply can result in fines under the Rural Fires Act 1997.
Smoke regulations prohibit burning in some areas – contact your Council or local Fire Brigade for further information.

New tractor for community volunteers at Woodenbong

A new four-wheel drive tractor and mulcher were delivered to Woodenbong on Thursday (27 August) much to the delight of the community volunteers who maintain the town’s showground, common area and public spaces.

Funded under the Federal and State Government’s Bushfire Grants Kyogle Council received after last year’s horrific bushfires, the tractor replaces an old ride-on mower which was previously used to keep Woodenbong looking spic and span.

Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland described the new tractor as a blessing for the Woodenbong community.

“I am delighted that the Woodenbong community got this tractor,” she said.

“It is well deserved and a smart decision by Council to support local community organisations who do so much for their community.

“The tractor will make life much easier for the volunteers who will be able to finish jobs in half the time.

“I’d also like to thank Kevin Hogan, our Federal MP, who made representations to have Kyogle Council included in the Bushfire Recovery Program which enabled us to fund projects like this one.”

Cr Lindsay Passfield said the new tractor would  strengthen Woodenbong’s already robust volunteer base and enhance efficiency.

Christine Reid, of the Woodenbong Showground Trust, said the tractor would be put to good use.

“The Woodenbong common and the showgrounds have never looked so good and we’re prepared and ready to get going on all of our events as soon as the Covid restrictions are eased,” she said.

Lynne Parker, who is also a member of the Showground Trust, was over the moon that after years of chasing funding for a tractor, it had finally become a reality.

“We’re ecstatic that we got this tractor which will be a big asset to the community and the various local organisations,” she said.

“The time it takes to prepare the grounds for events will be more than halved.”

The tractor was delivered by tractor dealer and fifth generation Woodenbong local Trent Martin.

Mr Martin said the tractor was the heaviest, and biggest engine capacity in its class on the market.

“I think it will perform beyond expectations,” he said.

The mulcher originally ordered with the tractor was nixed because the delivery time was far too long with Covid restrictions in place. Mr Martin replaced that mulcher with a higher quality mulcher at no extra cost.

Kevin Hogan thanked Kyogle Council for the community consultation they have done in allocating the bushfire grant money.

Council officially names four new bridges

Council has officially named four new bridges that until now were only know by anecdotal names.

Council decided at its August meeting to name:

  • The bridge on Peacock Creek Road over Gorge Creek (16.5km from Clarence Way), Gray Bridge;
  • The bridge on Old Dyraaba Road, 11.9km from Sextonville Road, Magil Bridge (Bundjualung for Easter Water Dragon);
  • The bridge on Walters Road, 593m from Green Pigeon Road, Matthews Bridge
  • The bridge on Hootons Road, over the Clarence River (15km from the Clarence Way), Binging Bridge (Bundjalung for River Turtle).

Council received 25 submissions from the public on the proposed names, with the bridge on Hootons Road over the Clarence River attracting the most submissions.

Two of the submissions wanted the bridge to be named either MacLean Bridge or MacLean crossing in reference to the historical river crossing being known as MacLean’s and seven supported the name Binging to acknowledge the area’s traditional owners.

Nine submissions wanted the bridge named after the Hooton family.

In deciding to go with Binging Bridge, Council noted that the Hooton family already had been recognised in the naming of the road and that only one other bridge in the local government area carried a Bundjalung name.

 

Red benches create awareness of domestic violence

Two benches at the front of the Kyogle hospital have been painted bright red as a stark reminder that domestic violence dwells in our community.

The red benches also serve as a beacon of hope to domestic violence victims that help is available.

Council painted the benches red at the request of the Kyogle Family and Domestic Violence Working Group which has joined a campaign to have 100 red benches installed across Australia.

The campaign is being driven by the not-for-profit Red Rose Foundation which is working to end domestic violence in Australia.

Kyogle Council Mayor and patron of the Kyogle Family and Domestic Violence Working Group Cr Danielle Mulholland said the red benches movement first came to light during the 16 days of activism last December.

“The CWA organised the 16 days of activism in Kyogle and that included a play on domestic violence and a short presentation on the red benches movement,” Cr Mulholland said.

“The whole thing grew from there, with the idea being that the red benches will get people talking about domestic violence.

“And having them at the front of the hospital reminds people that victims of domestic violence often end up at the hospital, or worse, the morgue.”

Cr Mulholland said raising community awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence and that help is available was crucial in reducing the harm it causes.

“As Mayor, I feel it’s important that the victims of domestic violence, women and men, know that Council cares and that help and support is available.”

Cr Mulholland stressed that domestic violence was not limited to physical violence.

“It can be emotional, psychological, financial and even spiritual abuse whereby a person is prevented from pursuing their own spiritual beliefs because of a family member,” she said.

“If we put a spotlight on domestic violence, then perhaps the victims and perpetrators will get the help they need.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, help is available:

  • Kyogle Family Support Service phone 6632 1044
  • Help to stay safe or leave phone 1800 RESPECT: 1800 737 732
  • The Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service phone 1300 720 606 or 6621 1044
  • The Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre – Family Law and Domestic Violence legal advice phone 6621 1000 or 1800 689 889
  • Call out family and domestic violence in the community phone 000 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000

Covid-19 – Important Community Information – UPDATED REGULARLY

This page has been established to provide the Kyogle Council community with relevant information about the Covid-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic as it becomes available and to update residents and ratepayers on Council’s services.

The safety of our communities and employees is Kyogle Council’s number one priority and to that end we are taking advice from the NSW and Federal Governments in relation to Covid-19.

Council aims to maintain service levels to our communities as much as possible, however that may change at short notice.

Council’s administration centre remains open, however social distancing guidelines apply (see below) and customers are asked to use the hand sanitizer, which is available at the front counter, on arrival.

Community members are reminded that most business with Council can now be conducted on-line or over the phone (6632 1611).

People who do not have access to a computer, can always phone Council (6632 1611) and talk to our customer service staff about what they can do to help you.

Council services

Most Council services are operating as normal, as resources allow. However, this may change at short notice and there have been some disruptions to a number of non-essential services.

What’s operating and what’s not

  • Kyogle library, including the mobile library, re-opening in line with NSW Health guidelines and restrictions on Monday 1, June. Restrictions will include:
    • Excluding staff and visitors who are unwell;
    • Limiting the number of guests to allow for four square metres per person;
    • providing distance markers for people queuing at service points;
    • limited internet/in library computer services;
    • quarantining books for 24 hours before returning them to shelves;
    • providing a special opening time (10-11am Tuesday to Friday) for  people aged over 70 years.
  • Kyogle Visitor Information Centre is open, however only two visitors are allowed on the premises at any one time.
  • Kyogle Museum remains closed but will re-open on Thursday, 3 September 2020.
  • Roxy Gallery has re-opened. Opening hours are 10am-3pm Wednesday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday. COVID-19 restrictions include:
    • Only one entrance to gallery, via the Summerland Way foyer
    • Maximum of 10 people in the gallery at any one time
    • All visitors to provide name and contact details for the purposes of contract tracing
    • Cleaning will be increased
    • The Roxy Shop will remain closed until further notice
    • If you are felling unwell, please DO NOT visit the gallery
  • The Kyogle Memorial Institute (KMI) Hall is available for bookings. The maximum number of people allowed in the hall/supper room is limited to one person per four square metres.
  • Council’s three public swimming pools are closed for the off-season.
  • Kyogle Community Centre (formerly known as the Kyogle Seniors Centre) is available for bookings. The maximum number of people allowed on the premises is limited to one person per four square metres.
  • Kyogle Youth Centre also known as the Laneway Community Space will re-open on Monday 22 June for the following activities:
    • Wednesday – Friday Kyogle Youth Action drop in between 3.30-5pm
    • Fair Share Kitchen open Thursdays from 11am-2pm
    • Kyogle Together will be undertaking extra cleaning of the centre and other measures such as temperature checks, social distancing, and limiting numbers in the space
  • Return and earn collection point at the Kyogle landfill, re-opening with restrictions on Monday, 1 June. Restrictions include:
    • Visits will be strictly by appointment only. If you do not have an appointment you will be turned away.
    • Appointments will occur in 15 minute intervals. This will enable most patrons to drop off their containers and exit the facility before the next patron arrives.
    • On arrival you must enter via the main gate and turn right to the Return and Earn Collection Shed as usual. If a yellow and black barricade is across the road, you must wait at this barricade until staff give you the green light to proceed to the shed.
    • When making an appointment, you will be required to tell staff approximately how many containers you will be dropping off. You cannot bring more containers than you nominate when making your appointment due to collection limits.
    • There is a limit on the number of containers Council can collect in a 7-day period. Once this limit is reached, we will not be able to take any more appointments for that week. However, you may make an appointment for the following week.
    • If you miss your appointment time or are more than 15 minutes late, you will need to rebook another appointment time.
    • To make an appointment, please call the Kyogle Landfill Facility on (02) 66323 002 between 8am – 12pm, Monday to Friday
  • All Council caravan parks and camping grounds are open.
  • Kyogle Tip Shop will re-open on Thursday, 25 June. Opening hours will be 9am-1pm Thursday to Sunday.
  • All Council playgrounds have re-opened and can be used with caution*.
  • Kyogle skatepark has re-opened and can be used with caution*.
  • All outdoor gyms have re-opened and can be used with caution*.
  • Council’s administration centre remains open.
  • All waste facilities remain open.
  • Construction and maintenance crews remain on the job.

* Please observe current government guidelines for social distancing and gatherings of people (people to remain 1.5m apart, outdoor gatherings limited to up to 10 people), wipe down surfaces before and after use where possible, practice good hygiene (cover you mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands for 20 seconds), stay at home if you are sick, and remember it is your responsibility to leave an area if it is too busy.

There may be further changes as the Covid-19 situation develops. Council will provide regular updates on this page and social media.

Public toilets

All public toilets are open except the toilet in David Reid Park, Kyogle.

Border Closures

The Queensland Government has advised Council of the following measures in relation to the closure of the Queensland border.

  • Full closure of Lions Road/Running Creek Road (a barrier will be in place preventing traffic from crossing the border).
  • Soft closure at the Summerland Way/Mt Lindesay Highway (signage and 24 hour police presence).
  • Soft closure of The Head/Carney Road in the Tenterfield Shire.
  • Multiple police patrolled checkpoints in the Tweed.
  • Cross border rail services will terminate in NSW – see the Transport NSW website.
  • Road closure warning signs will be erected at Casino and Kyogle.

All people entering Queensland will be required to isolate for 14 days unless they are exempt. For the full details on the Queensland border closure, including exemptions, enforcement measures and effects on cross border communities, go to the Queensland Government website.

Information for Business

As the Federal and State Government’s move to ease restrictions, more and more businesses are re-opening their doors and operating under guii Business owners/operators requiring information and guidance on operating (including re-opening) their business as restrictions ease are advised to go to the NSW Government website by clicking here.

Australian Government Support for Business

JobKeeper Payment

The Australian Government has introduced a JobKeeper Payment of $1,500 per fortnight, per eligible employee, for up to six months as part of a package to support the wages of up to 6 million Australians throughout the coronavirus crisis.

The JobKeeper Payment started on 30 March 2020, with the first payment to be received by employers in the first week of May.  Employers must pass this payment on to their employees.  Eligible employers include businesses structured through companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders. Not-for-profit entities, including charities, will also be eligible along with self-employed individuals.

Employers must elect to participate in the scheme. You can do this by registering here.

Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy

Registration is open for employers for the Australian Government’s Apprentice Wage Subsidy to retain apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers will receive a 50 percent subsidy for wages paid to apprentices between January to March this year. This will provide urgent financial assistance to help businesses retain their existing apprentices and trainees.  For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

Jobs Hub

The Australian Government has launched a new Jobs Hub, supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work. The Jobs Hub helps Australians looking for work find advertised vacancies through an up-to-date list of a selection of businesses and organisations that are currently hiring. It can be found here.

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers. This includes jobs in health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, among others.

In addition, employers who are hiring and want support to connect with potential candidates can also contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at workforce@dese.gov.au to be connected directly with businesses reducing their workforces; and the employment services network to source suitable candidates.

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

The Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit has been created in Treasury to build on existing efforts to support confidence, employment and business continuity. It is engaging with peak business and industry groups on systemic issues arising from Coronavirus to ensure these are being brought to the attention of Government. The Unit is hearing from business on a regular basis and providing updates to Government, focusing on crucial issues where the Government may be able to undertake additional work to support what business is doing. The Unit is also providing up-to-date information on the Government’s response to COVID-19 and the actions that Government is taking to support business and industry across Australia.

To contact the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, email CoronavirusBusinessLiaison@treasury.gov.au. To learn more about the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, click here.

The Australian Government is rolling out comprehensive targeted assistance to support businesses in response to the pandemic. Call the business.gov.au hotline on 13 28 46 to speak with a specialist adviser about what support is available. The hotline is open seven days a week from 7am-11pm AEST.  For the latest information on what is available to help business visit business.gov.au, follow this link to the Treasury website,  or click on the fact sheets below:

NSW Government Support for Business

Small Business Support Grants

The NSW Government is providing $10,000 grants to small businesses across NSW struggling to cope with the COVID-19 shutdown.

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  • have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000
  • a payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000
  • have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020
  • be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020
  • use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice
  • provide appropriate documentation upon application.

Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW from 17 April and will remain open until 1 June 2020.

NSW Government’s Economic Package

Key elements of the NSW COVID-19 stage two package include:

  • the creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put in to action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW to be funded by the program. The Working for NSW fund will comprise $750 million in new funding and $250 million announced last week for additional cleaning services
  • deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred). Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three month deferral as well
  • deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff. This improves liquidity and helps these businesses stay afloat
  • deferral of the parking space levy for six months
  • deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.

For more information about the NSW Government’s  COVID-19 business and employment response, follow this link.

Individuals

As part of the Federal Government’s stimulus packages, support is being provided for individuals and families. For the latest advice on what  is available, click here. You can also follow the links below.

NBN Co to establish financial relief and assistance package

NBN Co has announced it will establish a $150 million financial relief and assistance fund to help internet providers to support their residential and small and medium business customers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The relief fund, created following a short industry consultation led by NBN Co, is aimed at helping internet providers connect low-income households with home schooling needs, supporting emergency and essential services, and assisting small and medium businesses and residential customers who are facing financial hardship.

What you need to know about Covid-19

NSW Health says the best way to protect yourself and your family is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. Practice good hygiene by:

  • making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

You should also make sure you stay home if you are sick and practice social distancing.

Social distancing means we reduce the number of close physical and social contacts we have with one another.

While practising social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare – social distancing includes:

  • avoiding crowds and mass gatherings where it is difficult to keep the appropriate distance away from others
  • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
  • attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people where possible, for example when they are out and about in public place.
  • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people.
  • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

For more information about social distancing, refer to NSW Government – Social distancing

For the most up-to-date information on Covid-19 click on the following links:

Local government elections postponed

Local government elections which were to be held in September this year have been postponed to address risks posed by the Covid-19 virus.

The NSW Minister for Local Government announced last week that the elections would be deferred for one year.

Popularly elected mayors will continue to hold their office until an ordinary election is held.

In the case of Kyogle Council where the mayor is elected by councillors, mayoral elections will need to be held for mayors elected in September 2018 when their two year-terms expire.

The postponement of the next election will not change the future schedule of council elections, and the subsequent election will still proceed in September 2024.

Help for people affected by bushfire

Bushfire affected people and businesses can now access all available assistance through bushfire customer care at Service NSW. The program includes all assistance being offered by local councils, the NSW State Government and the Australian Government.

Service NSW customer care specialists can connect bushfire affected customers with services and support information including:

  • Accommodation advice
  • Relevant charitable services
  • Mental health and wellbeing services
  • Support for business
  • Clean-up services
  • Financial assistance
  • Insurance and legal support
  • Replacing lost IDs and
  • Volunteer RFS and SES payments.

To connect with a customer care specialist call Service NSW between 7am and 7pm on 13 77 88. Information about the customer care service is also available in Service NSW Centres, Bushfire Recovery Centres and Mobile Service Centres. You can also obtain information from the Service NSW website by clicking here.

Local suppliers and subcontractors urged to register for bushfire clean-up work

The NSW Government has appointed Laing O’Rourke to coordinate the clean-up of fire damaged residential and eligible commercial properties. This includes both insured and uninsured properties.

The clean-up of bushfire-impacted properties may include:
• Removal of known hazardous materials, including asbestos
• Removal of materials destroyed by bush fire and hazardous trees
• With consent of building owners, removal of concrete slab foundations.

Laing O’Rourke is looking to engage local suppliers and subcontractors and would like to hear from anyone that may have capability and capacity to provide goods and/or services in affected regions.

Through the duration of these works, Laing O’Rourke will be undertaking a number of information sessions with the local supply chain and communities to continue to provide updates about the program.

If you are interested in submitting an EOI and having a look at the full list of services being contracted – please click here

Federal and NSW Governments will cover the costs of bush fire clean up for residential and commercial residences res

The Federal and NSW Governments have announced that they will be covering the costs of bush fire clean up for residential and commercial residences impacted by bushfires (see joint media release below).

Impacted owners wanting their property cleared, need to call Service NSW on 13 77 88 to register their details and provide consent for access to their land.

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday 30 January 2020
NSW BUSHFIRE CLEAN-UP CONTRACTOR ANNOUNCED

The Morrison and Berejiklian Governments today announced they will share the costs on a 50:50 basis for the clean-up of residential and commercial properties destroyed by the recent bushfires in NSW.

This follows the successful approach adopted by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments following the Black Saturday bushfires.

The cost of the NSW clean-up is expected to run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, though a definitive number cannot be settled until the fires have ceased and sites are assessed.

As part of recovery efforts the NSW Government has also selected Laing O’Rourke Australia as the lead contractor to undertake the clean-up.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Commonwealth Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro, Commonwealth Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the funding agreement would give people more certainty as the recovery process continues.

“This is an important step to get the clean-up and rebuilding process moving to help people get back on their feet,” the Prime Minister said.

“We know many people are still battling these blazes but where the fire-front has passed we’re deploying $2 billion through our National Bushfire Recovery Agency to help people rebuild their homes and communities.”

“The destruction caused by these fires is unprecedented and the process of recovery and rebuilding will take time, but I want people to know, we will be with them every step of the way,” the Premier said.

“Government is picking up the bill for the clean-up, at no cost to owners, so if you’re uninsured, this is one less thing to worry about and if you are insured, it means you will be able to use every dollar of your policy to rebuild.”

Treasurer Frydenberg said the speed at which agreement was reached between the Commonwealth and the NSW government was not only a testament to the working relationship between the two levels of government but that of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.

“An unprecedented joint effort has and is required to assist with the recovery, rebuilding and future resilience of local communities,” Treasurer Frydenberg said.

“The National Bushfire Recovery Agency has played a key role across the board ensuring the Commonwealth’s resources are reaching the communities when and where they are needed.”

The Deputy Premier said the clean-up was a mammoth task but that he was confident the partnership with Laing O’Rourke will see properties cleared and the rebuild begin as soon as possible.

“With 2,399 homes destroyed and more than 10,000 buildings damaged or destroyed all up, we have a long journey ahead of us,” the Deputy Premier said.

“Despite the enormity of the job, Laing O’Rourke has indicated the majority of properties will be substantially cleared by mid-year, with a focus on residential properties.

“The contractor will also be working hand in hand with Public Works Advisory to engage local suppliers and subcontractors, to keep local economies ticking over.

“Our emergency services, volunteers and our farmers have been outstanding in emergency situations these past months, and we need to be as vigilant in recovery as they have been in the face of disaster.”

Minister Littleproud said the Commonwealth would continue to step up to do whatever it takes.

“We will continue to respond to changing conditions while these fires affect communities across the country,” Minister Littleproud said.

“As the rebuilding begins, the Commonwealth will be there to make sure communities are well-resourced.”

Treasurer Perrottet said he expected all savings insurance companies may accrue as a result of the Government funded clean-up to be passed on to policy holders to help assist them in the rebuilding process.

“I know people are anxious to have their properties cleared as soon as possible which is why the NSW Government has hit the ground running with the clean-up effort,” Treasurer Perrottet said.

“Impacted owners wanting their property cleared need to call Service NSW on 13 77 88 to register their details and provide consent for access to their land.

“We are working with the new National Bushfire Recovery Agency to ensure a coordinated response to make clean-up as easy as possible for property owners.”

The NSW Government will provide regular updates to the Commonwealth on the progress of the clean-up.

Bonalbo water restrictions reduced to Level 3

Due to the recent rainfall increasing flows in Peacock Creek, water restrictions in the village of Bonalbo have been reduced to Level 3, effective immediately.

They were at Level 4.

Level 3 restrictions are as follows:

  • Residential properties and swimming pools; micro-sprays and drippers/sub-surface irrigation can be used for a maximum of 15 minutes and hand held hoses can be used for half an hour every second day, between the hours of 4:00pm and 9:00am. Houses with an even street number can water on even numbered calendar days, and houses with odd street number can water on odd numbered calendar days. Other irrigation and unattended hoses are banned.
  • Commercial premises; as above, exemptions for sprinkler use up to two hours a day allowed for essential business uses, eg nurseries, or where business hours dictate water use eg schools, public gardens, sports grounds.
  • Industrial; no restriction for water usage for essential business activities.
  • Rural; no restriction for stock watering.

 

 

 

Tip Shop opening hours extended

The Kyogle Tip Shop will be open every week from 16 January 2020 during the following times:
• Thursday: 9am – 12pm
• Friday: 9am – 12pm
• Saturday: 9am – 12pm
• Sunday: 9am – 12pm.

The Kyogle Resource Innovation Collective (KRIC), operators of the Tip Shop, and Kyogle Council would like to thank the community for their support during the first weeks of operation.

More than 100 people visited the Tip Shop before Christmas, with a significant amount of goods and materials finding a new home instead of ending up in landfill.

If you were lucky enough to receive a new household appliance, tools and gardening equipment, toys, bikes and sporting equipment or home decoration items for Christmas and are wondering what to do with your old things, consider donating them to the Tip Shop.

If you are undertaking some home renovations or a project during the holidays also don’t forget to visit the Tip Shop for second hand building and construction materials or to donate used or leftover materials.

Bushfire Recovery Assistance

Please find below the latest summary of assistance measures available across NSW for bush fire-impacted communities.

Other measures

NSW Land Registry Services is offering landholders affected by the recent bushfires with access to the title searches and plan images of their property free of charge.

Property searches and plans can assist landholders with insurance claims and development applications to council, as well as provide peace of mind regarding land ownership following natural disasters.

Affected landholders can cal the NSW Land Registery Services Contact Centre on 1300 396 076 or (02) 8776 3575 to discuss available assistance. Details of the support available are available by clicking here.

Banking help

If you’re dealing with the impact of the bush fires there are practical ways your bank can help. Australian banks have hardship teams ready to assist homeowners, small business owners and volunteers with financial arrangements, depending on circumstances.

Assistance could include:
• deferred loan payments
• waiving fees and charges
• helping with debt consolidation
• waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit
• deferring upcoming credit card payments
• increasing emergency credit card limits

Call your bank today or find your bank’s hardship team by clicking here.

 

 

Blue-green algal alert for Toonumbar Dam and Clarence River at Tabulam

BLUE-GREEN ALGAL ALERT – TOONUMBAR DAM AND CLARENCE RIVER AT TABULAM

Numbers of potentially toxic species Chrysosporum ovalisporum have significantly increased at Toonumbar Dam
which remains at Red Alert.

Dam staff have erected signs at all dam access points and in Kyogle. The main boat ramp and nearby camping areas have been closed.

The downstream site remains at Green Alert, however stock and domestic users should exercise caution and not allow stock to drink from, or take any water from, areas where scums or other signs of blue-green algae are present.

The Clarence River at Tabulam remains at Amber Alert with low levels of Aphanizomenonaceae.

Stock and domestic users in the area should avoid extraction of water from areas where any scums or other signs of blue-green algae are present.

** RED ALERT – These alert levels represent ‘bloom’ conditions. Water will appear green or discoloured and clumps or scums could be visible. It can also give off a strong musty or organic odour. Algae may be toxic to humans and animals. Contact with or use of water from red alert areas should be avoided due to the risk of eye and skin irritation. Drinking untreated or boiled water from these supplies can cause stomach upsets. Alternative water supplies should be sought or activated carbon treatment employed to remove toxins. People should not fish when an algal scum is present. Owners should keep dogs away from high alert areas and provide alternative watering points for stock.

**AMBER ALERT – Blue-green algae may be multiplying and the water may have a green tinge and musty or organic taste and odour. The water should be considered as unsuitable for potable use and alternative supplies or prior treatment of raw water for domestic purposes should be considered. The water may also be unsuitable for stock watering. Generally suitable for water sports, however people are advised to exercise caution in these areas, as blue-green algal concentrations can rise to red alert levels quickly under warm, calm weather conditions.

Further Information go to the WaterNSW Algal Website by clicking here or call NSW algae hotline 1800 999 457

Kyogle first Council in NSW to partner with the Sustainable Australia Fund’s Better Building Finance program

Kyogle Council has become the first council outside Victoria to partner with the Sustainable Australia Fund’s Better Building Finance (BBF) program, to offer affordable environmental finance to local businesses in its local government area.

Environmental upgrade finance, also known as building upgrade finance, is a government enabled funding mechanism for upgrading existing building stock to be more environmentally friendly.

Business owners can take out a long term loan for the works, which is then repaid through their council’s rates system. Council’s involvement means businesses can access favourable and affordable finance terms.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) today announced that it was providing funding for BBF to expand its highly successful program into NSW and SA, with Kyogle the first of a targeted 23 new council partners, to join the existing 34 council partners in Victoria.

This is the second project between BBF and ARENA. Between 2016-2019, ARENA supported BBF to establish the environmental upgrade finance market in Victoria. The initial agreement was for 15 councils, however due to the strong uptake in the first year (13 councils), the agreement was expanded for a further 15 councils.

This project has had remarkable success. In 2018 BBF worked with its council partners to facilitate 26 environmental upgrade projects at an investment of $10.5 million, generating 2.4MW of solar power, which will lead to the abatement of 178k tonnes of emissions over the life of the projects.

Shay Singh, Executive Manage of BBF, welcomed Kyogle to the program:

“We’re really excited to welcome Kyogle as our first NSW council partner. With the success we’ve had in Victoria, we know that this program can have a huge impact in supporting local businesses and helping councils deliver on their economic development and sustainability goals,” she said.

Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland is also excited about the new partnership.

“Kyogle Council recently adopted its Sustainable Councils and Communities Action Plan which includes a series of renewable energy targets, as well as a commitment to encourage and support the use of renewable energy by the community,” she said.

“The partnership with the Better Building Finance program will provide an opportunity for Council to support its local businesses and primary producers and offer them an opportunity to invest in energy, waste and water efficiency projects that provide both environmental and economic benefits.

“It’s a win win for us and our community, and we look forward to working with Better Building Finance in this partnership.

“We’re also proud to be the first Council in NSW to work with BBF, demonstrating our commitment to local business and investment, and promoting renewable energy usage throughout the council area.”

Council’s General Manager Graham Kennett the program offered Council the opportunity to help local businesses and industry groups to deliver projects that they may not otherwise have been able to realise.

“The three way partnership between Council, its community and the Sustainable Australia Fund is a great example of how the administrative operations of a local council can be harnessed to help provide sustainable improvements to existing facilities that will also benefit the local economy in the longer term,” he said.

Council to waive service fee for bulk water sales

In a bid to ease the financial burden on drought-affected rural residents facing water shortages, Kyogle Council has decided at it Monday, 9 December meeting to waive its $34 service charge for bulk water sales for the next three months.

Council also will write to all registered professional water carters accessing Kyogle Council’s water supply requesting they pass on the saving in full to their customers.

Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland stressed that the service fee did not generate a profit for Council, rather it covered the cost of providing the service to the community.

However, she said Council recognised that waiving the fee temporarily was going to help struggling drought affected residents.

“The communities in our area are under a lot of pressure and accessing clean drinking water should be any government’s highest priority,” Cr Mulholland said.

“Thirty four dollars may not seem like a huge amount, but it will mean a lot to residents on fixed incomes who are facing real financial hardships due to the ongoing drought.”

“And to ensure that they people who need the help receive the benefit of the waiver, we are appealing to all the professional water carters to pass on the full saving to their customers.”

The fee waiver will come into effect immediately, will cover all water sales over 100 litres, and will be reviewed at Council’s March 2020 meeting.

Councillor Maggie May, who put forward the motion to waive the fee, said access to water was an essential human right and that the need to buy water was adding to the financial burden of families already struggling due to the effects of the drought.

She said a saving of $34 would mean a lot to affected families and showed the Council was sympathetic to the difficulties people were facing as a result of the ongoing drought.

Council calls on State Government to raise the Toonumbar Dam wall

Kyogle Council is calling on the NSW Government and WaterNSW to urgently commit to raising the wall of Toonumbar Dam by six metres to improve drought security and encourage further investment in agricultural production.

Councillors at the 9 December Council meeting were told that raising the height of the dam wall would increase the dam’s storage capacity by 8GL to almost 20GL and could be completed for just $50 million.

Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland said WaterNSW had advised council the wall could be raised without actually increasing the height of the existing embankment.

Rather, it could be achieved by building a new spillway to the south of the existing dam and installing gates on the current spillway.

“This is about planning for the future for the whole of the Kyogle and Richmond Valley areas and making the best possible use of the existing facility,” Cr Mulholland said.

“There has been a lot of talk about improving water security and drought resilience, and this proposal does both, for what is a relatively small investment.

“We continue to have discussions with WaterNSW about what they are prepared to do with this asset and how they intend to manage the issues associated with it. With the drought, this has become a far more urgent matter and we need to partner with the State Government to deliver outcomes that meet community expectations.”

Kyogle Council Deputy Mayor Cr John Burley, who moved the motion to pursue the proposal to raise the dam wall, said Toonumbar Dam was an undervalued resource that had the potential to benefit the entire region.

“As well as giving improved drought security for water users downstream of the dam, the increased capacity of the dam would provide incentive for existing water users and opportunities for new high value agricultural productions in the local area,” he said.

“There is also potential for the dam to be used as a town water supply source by either Rous Water or Richmond Valley Council.”

Federal Government’s Mobile Service Centre to visit Woodenbong, Baryulgil, Ewingar, and Drake

The Federal Government’s Mobile Service Centre ‘Golden Wattle’ will be visiting Woodenbong, Baryulgil, Ewingar, and Drake from 9 – 12 December.

Mobile Service Centre staff can help people with payments and services for Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support, as well as provide information about Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services.

If you’ve been impacted by bushfires, they may also be able to assist people with Disaster Recovery Payments.

For more information clock here.

Children under the age of 10 must be supervised by an adult at all times at Council pools

Parents and carers are reminded that all children under 10 years of age must be supervised by a parent or a guardian when they are at any of Council’s three public swimming pools.

The reminder comes as an increasing number of parents/carers have been seen dropping their young children at the pool by themselves before the start of a class or activity.

It is Council policy that children under the age of 10 at a Council pool must be supervised by an adult at all times.

Council does not operate a child care centre from its swimming pools.

Council staff have the right to refuse entry to the pool to any unaccompanied child thought to be under 10 years of age, and Council may be required to report incidents involving an unaccompanied child to welfare agencies and/or Police for their follow up and action.

This is a child safety issue and Council does not wish to see any harm come to a youngster while at the pool, so please ensure your child is supervised at all times.

Expressions of interest sought for Climate Change Working Group

Kyogle Council is calling for expressions of interest from community members keen to be part of its Climate Change Working Group.

The working group will provide advice and recommendations around climate change, management of climate risk and implementation on targets relating to climate change and renewable energy in the Kyogle local government area (LGA).

It will be made up of three councillors, relevant council staff and six community members from groups concerned with: science, commerce and industry, Indigenous representation, community and youth.

Community members will be appointed for two years but would be able to nominate for further terms.

Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mulholland said the Working Group would have a wide brief which included monitoring the implementation of Council’s Sustainable Councils and Communities Action Plan and associated targets and its Climate Change Adaptation Risk Assessment report.

“Short term targets in the Sustainable Councils and Communities Action Plan include sourcing 25% of Council’s electricity demand through on site solar energy generation by 2025, while the long-term target is to source 100% of Council’s electricity demand from renewables by 2030,” Cr Mulholland said.

“The working group will also help Council incorporate the latest knowledge of climate change impacts into our planning policies and instruments, as well as provide a broader advocacy role with the aim of informing and educating the community.

“There is also scope for the working group to foster opportunities for external funding and joint projects that align with Council’s adopted strategies and targets and monitor State and Federal Government climate change adaptation direction and advise Council on appropriate responses.”

Expressions of interest to join the working group must be submitted in writing to Council’s General Manager by close of business January 24, 2020.

EIOs will be assessed against the following selection criteria:

  • Community delegates should preferably be nominated by a community group, consortium of community groups or a peak body preferably with wide membership or representation and must reside in the Kyogle Local Government Area
  • Commerce and industry delegates should preferably be nominated by a peak body or a consortium of organisations preferably with a wide membership or representation and must reside in the Kyogle Local Government Area.
  • Scientific representatives must have a speciality in disciplines related to climate change and or renewable energy, with preference given to those who reside in the Kyogle Local Government Area.

EIOs should be emailed to council@kyogle.nsw.gov.au or sent to PO Box 11, Kyogle, NSW 2474.

Community members wanting further information about the working group or submitting an expression of interest, should contact Council’s Strategic Initiatives Coordinator Suzie Coulston on 02 6632 1611.

Summerland Way re-opens to traffic through to Queensland border

Great news – the Summerland Way will re-open to traffic through to the Queensland border tomorrow (Tuesday 3 December) at 9am.

At the same time, Queensland’s Department of Traffic and Main Roads will re-open the Mt Lindesay Highway. The highway will be opened with speed reduced to 50km/h in some sections, and on-going lane closures for up to three months.

Kyogle Tip Shop open for business

Kyogle Tip Shop open for business

Kyogle Tip Shop’s grand re-opening will be held on Saturday, 7 December 2019, from 9am – 3pm and the community is invited to come along to see what it has to offer and pick up a bargain or two.

Run by the Kyogle Resource Innovation Collective (KRIC), the Tip Shop has been stocked with items donated by the community during National Recycling Week (11-17 November).

“It was great to see the public get behind the project, with many expressing how pleased they were to hear that the Tip Shop would be up and running again,” KRIC spokesperson Graeme Gibson said.

Goods available for purchase through the Tip Shop include:

  • whitegoods and household appliances
  • building, construction and renovating materials
  • tools and gardening equipment
  • toys and sporting equipment
  • home decoration items
  • second-hand furniture
  • car and bike parts and accessories.

“The public can expect to pick up quality items at very affordable prices,” Mr Gibson said.

“Many items are in very good condition, with some brand new in their original packaging.”

All profits from the sale of items at the Tip Shop will go to support further projects aimed at reducing waste, increasing recycling and improving environmental education within the community.

Kyogle Council Mayor Cr Danielle Mullholland said the Council and the community had worked together to develop the innovative new approach to operating the Tip Shop.

“It is a great result for the community and is consistent with Council’s commitment to support social enterprise and encourage recycling and reuse of materials, preventing them from ending up in landfill,” she said.

Council was encouraged by the community support shown during National Recycling Week, and hopes the community will continue to support the Tip Shop in future.

However, the Tip Shop is not a dumping site for items that have reached the end of their life. Items donated must be in working condition or good order. KRIC volunteers may refuse to accept any goods and materials that they consider are in an unsaleable, unusable or unsafe condition.

Initially, the Tip Shop will be open to the public from 9am – 3pm every Saturday and Sunday. Members of the public may also donate goods and materials to the Tip Shop during opening hours. The Tip Shop is located next to the Container Deposit Scheme shed at the Kyogle Landfill Facility on Runnymede Road, Kyogle.

Blue-green algae Red Alert for Toonumbar Dam

A Red Alert level warning (high alert) for blue-green algae has been issued for Toonumbar Dam.

A Red Alert level warning indicates that people should not undertake recreational activities where they may be coming into direct contact with the water such as swimming, as well as domestic uses including showering and washing. Contact with the water may also pose a threat to livestock and pets.

Warning sign has been erected and entry gate to dam closed.This will remain in place while high levels of blue-green algae are present.

The dominant species of blue-green algae identified is potentially toxic and may cause gastroenteritis in humans if consumed and skin and eye irritations after contact. Severe asphyxia and muscle paralysis may occur in response to contact with bloom scums. Boiling the water does not remove algal toxins.

People are advised not to enter the water, not to drink untreated water or bathe in water drawn from the dam while this Red Alert level warning is in place. Town water supplies remain unaffected and safe to drink.

Livestock owners are reminded to continue to check stock water supplies for blue-green algae and to remove stock from foreshores where surface scum is visible or blue-green algae are suspected.

Blue-green algae usually appear as green paint-like scums on the water, near the edges, or as greenish clumps throughout the water. It makes the water appear dirty, green or discoloured and generally has a strong musty or earthy odour.

Recreational fishing is not recommended due to potential contact with water however if it occurs any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water and any internal organs disposed of before consumption.

Blue-green algae occur naturally and can reproduce quickly in favourable conditions where there is still or slow-flowing water, abundant sunlight and sufficient levels of nutrients.

It is not possible to predict how long the algae will remain at high levels. Regular monitoring will continue and the alert will be lifted as soon as the high levels of algae dissipate.

People who believe they may have been affected by blue-green algae are advised to seek medical advice.

Updates about blue-green algae blooms and red level warning areas can be obtained by calling 1800 999 457 or visiting – http://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/algae

Bush fire recovery information

The NSW Office of Emergency Management has put together a newsletter with recovery information for people impacted by bush fires.

It provides details on how people can get help with:

  • Clean-up assistance;
  • Small business grants (up to $15,000);
  • Primary producer grants (up to $15,000);
  • health and wellbeing support;
  • Disaster relief grants
  • Domestic Water Assistance
  • Support for landholders including emergency fodder and emergency water supplies;
  • Housing Assistance.

To read/download the newsletter, click here.