WORKING: Tumbulgum locals came together to shovel thick river mud from their street after heavy flooding earlier this year. Council is only about 30 per cent through their massive flood repair workload.
WORKING: Tumbulgum locals came together to shovel thick river mud from their street after heavy flooding earlier this year. Council is only about 30 per cent through their massive flood repair workload. SCOTT POWICK

Flood repairs continuing across the Shire

TWEED Shire still has a long way to go before the region has fully recovered from the March floods as council continues to work on repairing damaged infrastructure.

Council's engineering director David Oxenham said the repair works were about 25-30 per cent completed but staff were on schedule.

"We need to be completed by June 2019,” Mr Oxenham said.

"That's the deadline that the Federal Government has placed on the restoration program. We're on track.”

While there's been some criticism of the government's shortfall in financial recovery support, Mr Oxenham said some items on council's repair list didn't meet the funding criteria.

"Sometimes there are grey areas in what they do approve and won't approve but our estimate at what the shortfall will be is around $8million,” he said.

"Byrrill Creek (bridge) makes up the majority of that. We've found other money for that project and we're not applying for it under the Commonwealth's Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements.

"(The government will) fund putting the asset back into its original state but in some instances we want to put better assets back in to protect it against any future flooding issues.”

Mr Oxenham said while council is on schedule with its flood recovery program, there is a chance their time- frame may be blown out because of budget restraints.

"We may not get it all done,” Mr Oxenham said.

"It really depends on some of the work. We're really honing in on some of the projects at the moment like the levy which is in South Murwillumbah. That levy was damaged during the flood. Originally, we scoped that out as a $750,000 fix, but current estimate for that is around $4million.”

Meanwhile, council's economic development officer Kym Kranen said she was still working with local businesses to help them get back on their feet, but was also trying to prepare them for a better future.

"I've put in a couple of funding submissions to the (flood) recovery fund,” she said, referring to her plan to produce a television ad targeted at Southern Queensland.

"Even though we're so far out from the flood, we've got a huge market about to arrive for the Common- wealth Games. If we can get this funding through soon, we could produce an ad for the people who are here for the Games to (encourage them to) come down.”

Ms Kranen said she also hoped to introduce training for businesses to teach them how to attract Games visitors.



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