Council offers assistance to storm impacted residents

Port Macquarie-Hastings

Residents residing within the impact zone from Friday’s storm will be entitled to a free green waste kerbside collection, and have their disposal fees waived for storm-affected waste at either Kingfisher and Cairncross Waste Transfer Stations (WTS).

Bounded by Pacific Drive and Ocean Drive in the south, and the Hastings River and parts of the canals in the north, residents living in the impact zone should contact Council’s Customer Service Centre where staff will assist in coordinating details for green waste collections.

The collection service shall only be provided for fallen trees and large branches as a result of the storm event. Green waste for collection should be cut up to enable easy handling when loading.

All green waste must be out on the kerb and resident details logged before 19 February to enable collection to occur.

Small household loads of mixed waste will be considered free of charge at Kingfisher and Cairncross WTS, and larger commercial mixed loads will only be accepted at the Cairncross facility until 28 February. Mixed waste will not be available for kerbside collection.

Port Macquarie Hastings Council’s Director of Community Infrastructure, Robert Fish, said PMHC’s assistance was appropriate given the scale of Friday’s damage to private properties.

“While we’ve identified a large number of public spaces and road areas damaged from Friday’s storm, we are very much aware that number is much higher when taking into consideration the impacts to private residences,” Mr Fish said.

“While our priority remains addressing impacts to public locations and assets such as Town Green and our iconic Fig Tree, parks, public road reserves, gardens and buildings, we are extending our resources to help residents clear the backlog of green waste debris.

“We encourage our community to call Customer Service Centre on 6581 8111 to log your details. Please ensure all green waste is out and ready for collection before Sunday, 19 February. If you’re dropping off at Cairncross or Kingfisher, please have proof of your residential address and we’ll assess your eligibility for a fee waiver.”

As PMHC partners with the community to assist in the clean-up, crews remain on the ground assessing the full impact of the damage to public infrastructure – including the Town Green Fig Tree. An assessment of the damage will be lodged with the NSW Reconstruction Authority, who will address our eligibility for Natural Disaster Declaration status.

Mr Fish said qualified arborists have been engaged to provide a report on the condition of the Town Green Fig Tree. While the canopy will remain bare for some time, confidence is high the tree will survive. Contracted tree services have done a wonderful job stabilising limbs and branches to reduce further risk to the public.

Damage to the Port Macquarie Pool resulted in its closure over the weekend, however it will reopen on Tuesday. The Glasshouse suffered considerable water damage, and remains closed until further notice while crews conduct safety assessments.

All roads have reopened; however, traffic conditions may change while the clean-up continues. Council advises the community to stay across the Council’s official Facebook page for updates.

Council’s CEO Dr Clare Allen commended staff for their professional and coordinated response to the storm on Friday and across the weekend and thanked the community for the feedback received so far.

“It never ceases to amaze me how brilliant our staff are in springing into action when crisis calls,” Dr Allen said.

“It was frightening to see how quickly this event escalated on Friday, but the measured and calm approach staff took, with the assistance from our emergency services, was terrific.

“I have been inundated with positive feedback from members of the public who have spoken of the speed and efficiency with which our crews got to work. I thank every single one of you for your efforts during what was very difficult period.”

/Public Release. View in full here.