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Three weeks in isolation for cut off community may end

Upper Coopers Creek residents transport supplies across the creek because the road is closed.
Upper Coopers Creek residents transport supplies across the creek because the road is closed.

INTERIM geotechnical advice suggests Upper Coopers Creek Rd near Mullumbimby may soon be re-opened to pedestrians and vehicles under 3.5 tonnes.

It comes as frustration grows among 120 local residents who are entering their third week of isolation after the closure of the road to vehicles and pedestrians following a severe landslip.

Byron Shire Council has received geotechnical engineering advice that provided ongoing risk assessments of the site continue and precautionary barriers are in place, the road may possibly be reopened to pedestrians and vehicles under 3.5 tonnes.

But the re-opening is being placed at jeopardy by the rain.

If more than 100 millimetres of rain falls over a three day period and if there is any movement of the landslip, the road would need to remain closed or be shut down again, according to a statement from council.

Weather allowing, the Department of Public Works and Roads and Maritime Services will deploy expert engineers/technicians in building roads through rough country to the site over the next two days.

They will be assessing routes in and out, current and planned.

A spokesman for Richmond/Tweed SES said a helicopter resupply mission scheduled for today may not proceed due to the wet weather.

On Monday the SES airlifted gas cylinders, food and stockfeed to the stranded residents.

Resident Duncan Shipley-Smith said about 20 locals staged a meeting on Tuesday night at the primary school where there was frustration about the slow pace of fixing the road and the lack of detailed information they were receiving.

Mr Shipley-Smith said the residents had decided to form an incorporated association so they can lobby council and government about their situation as a collective.

Topics:  community, coopers, creek, flooding


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