Council focuses on post-storm clean up – Wollongong

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A break in the heavy rain is providing Council staff the opportunity to focus their efforts on debris removal from our city’s beaches and drainage systems, carry out road repairs and fixing up pathways in the Wollongong Botanic Garden.

Following the extraordinary heavy and consistent rain, many of our city’s beaches are littered with rubbish and debris that has been either washed up in heavy seas, or washed on to the beaches through fast-flowing storm water.

The city’s 17 patrolled beaches are currently closed and Lifeguards have been walking the sand picking up large pieces of rubbish. Our works crews are also continuing to collect debris from around stormwater entrances and exits.

“Where it has been safe to do so, Council has had teams on the ground throughout this weather event making sure that culverts are cleared, fallen trees are removed and locations where water flows over the road signposted,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“So, in a way to say they’re now starting a clean-up is a little misleading. However, as the weather conditions improve and people venture out of their houses they will certainly see Council staff focussed on cleaning up the city.

“This will not be an overnight clean-up. This weather has dumped a phenomenal amount of water across the local government area, and we are undertaking this phase of work using a risk-based approach. We’re tasking staff to manage high-risk issues like fallen trees and the clearing of culverts.

“It will take some time for our parks and playgrounds to dry out enough for us to be able to get our heavy grass-cutting equipment on them safely and without causing further damage to their surface. I thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we safely and diligently clear the backlog of mowing.”

Cr Bradbery appealed for people to be cautious if walking the city’s beaches. All 17 patrolled beaches, and the three ocean pools at Thirroul, Wollongong and Port Kembla remain closed due to sea conditions and concerns about water quality.

Council has also closed a number of beach accessways along the coast that are unsafe due to wave and water run-off eroding sections of sand.

“We have seen significant scarping at Bulli, Woonona, Corrimal, Towradgi, Fairy Meadow and City beaches and in some instances the sand has been eaten away by the sea to create a four-metre drop,” he said.

“We are working on a plan to be able to bring heavy equipment onto the beach to make these areas safer. To do this, we need the seas and swell to drop, and to make sure we’ve got the right measures in place to manage the sensitive marine environment. This work is an urgent priority for Council and we will carry it out as soon as it is safe to do so.”

The Wollongong Botanic Garden remained closed today with work to repair lifted pathways and clear fallen tree debris underway. The closure was also to allow the water levels to drop in the Garden’s much-loved duck pond.

“The Gardens have taken a bit of a battering with this recent weather and we took the step to close them yesterday to allow crews to get in and complete these essential repairs,” Cr Bradbery said.

“We’ll open them once more as soon as possible so that our community can return to this well-visited space.

“We all have a role to play in the clean-up efforts and little steps can make a big difference. If you’re getting some sunshine and walking the beach or around a park and see some rubbish that has washed up in the recent weather, pick it up and pop it in the nearest bin. It’s a small thing but it can make a big difference to our local environment.”

Our Customer Service team are here to help and are prioritising urgent calls. For a non-emergency issue to report such as a pothole, fallen tree on public land or long grass make sure to report it online.

/Public Release. View in full here.