Fire safety information after floods

Saturday 8 April, 2017

Fire safety information after floods

Warnings on hidden dangers of water-affected appliances

Residents affected by flooding are being reminded to take precautions to avoid potential fire and chemical hazards as the community recovers.

While fire may be the last thing on people’s minds following the recent flood event there are a number of things people need to be aware of as they clean up in order to avoid the potential for further tragedy.

Most of these hazards involve electrical supply and appliances – the key safety point are:

  • Any electrical appliances including washing machines and refrigerators which have been in contact with water must be inspected by a qualified electrician before using them again.

  • Another potential danger is solar panels which are continuing to generate live power while power points have been affected by water.

  • Solar panels need to be isolated using the main isolation switch, keeping in mind this means cabling between the panels and switch is still live during daylight hours and may be in contact with damaged roof beams.

  • Again the system needs to be checked by an electrician before being turned back on.

  • While faulty appliances and electrical systems pose direct danger further risk can be incurred by people who are trying to do the right thing and find alternatives to meet their needs.

  • Using barbecues or LPG camp stoves rather than appliances which have been underwater is a good option but don’t bring them indoors as they emit poisonous carbon monoxide.

  • Anyone with stored chemicals and fuels should also take extra safety precautions and handle them using recommended safety equipment if they have been water affected.

If your have any doubt or concern about handling chemicals please call the SES incident number on 132 500 and someone from the fire service will respond to your inquiry.

For further information about disposal of waste or Council services including contacts, updates and disaster assistance links visit or call (02) 6670 2400.

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To view all media releases online, please visit the Tweed Shire Council Newsroom.

Tweed Shire Council post flood advisories

Here’s a summary of press releases from Thursday 6th and Wednesday 5th April, from Tweed Shire Council Newsroom regarding the floods last week.

Headline links go to the full release, or you can download the PDF.

Mosquito menace warning after floods

Mosquito menace warning after floods (PDF) The floods have created ideal conditions for mosquito breeding and Council is calling on residents to do their bit to reduce the impact by taking some simple precautions around their home.

See full press release for more details.

Free building inspections for flood affected homes
Free building inspections for flood affected homes (PDF)

Tweed Shire Council building surveyors will provide free inspections to flood affected properties to discuss any structural issues that may have occurred.

Inspections are on a priority basis and will assist with general information about rebuilding and construction that may be required within the flood zone.

See full press release for more details.

Cultural facilities open

Business as usual at many Council cultural facilities

The Tweed Regional Museum has opened its doors again after the weekend’s devastating floods.

Tweed Regional Museum, Murwillumbah is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm and Tweed Regional Museum, Uki is open Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 3pm and Market Sunday (3rd Sunday of the month) 10am-1pm. Tweed Regional Museum, Tweed Heads remains closed for building work until July 2017. For more information visit

Richmond/Tweed Libraries have all three branches operating as normal.  For opening hours at Murwillumbah, Kingscliff and Tweed Heads visit For more information on the upgrade at Tweed Heads branch visit

The Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre and gallery café will reopen on Friday 7 April.  The Tweed Regional Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm. For more information visit

Priority repair is make safe and get access for isolated communities
Priority repair is make safe and get access for isolated communities (PDF)

Council is continuing to prioritise temporary repairs to roads that are extremely dangerous or where communities are still isolated.

“We are working to get all isolated communities access by the weekend,” said Director Engineering David Oxenham. “But working conditions are difficult and on some of those roads through steep terrain the top and bottom sides are still saturated and more landslips are occurring.

See full press release for more details.

Recovery Centre for Murwillumbah established
040617-flood-recovery (PDF)

The Recovery Centre for Murwillumbah has been established. The centre is at the Murwillumbah Community Centre in Nullum Street, Murwillumbah.

The recovery centres opened in Lismore and Murwillumbah from 12 noon today and will be open from 9am – 6pm from Friday 7 April.

The centre provides a one stop shop for affected residents, businesses and farmers to access recovery assistance from a range of agencies and organisations.

See full press release for more details.

Boaties warned of hidden danger of the river
Boaties warned of hidden dangers of the river (PDF)

Boaties, jetskiers and paddlers heading for a weekend on the water are urged to take extra care as the floods will have changed the underwater landscape.

“Not only will there be a multitude of submerged objects and snags, the floods will also have moved the shoals and channels around,” said Director Community and Natural Resources Tracey Stinson.

See full press release for more details.

TRAC facilities to remain open free for public use
TRAC facilities to remain open free for public use

Shower facilities at Tweed Regional Aquatic Centre (TRAC) pools will remain open to the community free of charge for as long as is required following the recent flood emergency.

Facilities at Murwillumbah, Kingscliff and South Tweed Heads were opened to residents in need of hot showers who were unable to return to their homes and TRAC Supervisor Glenn Nott said this service would continue until further notice.

See full press release for more details.

Visit Tweed Shire Council Newsroom for more information.

Tweed Shire road closures

Wednesday 5 April, 2017

Nine roads cut or closed with some school bus services affected

Council prioritising repairs and urgent stabilisation work

Council is continuing to work today to repair damaged roads that are extremely dangerous or where communities are still isolated.

Council is working to keep the MyRoadsInfo site up to date but alternatively residents can find the latest list of road condition reports and closures on the Council website at

This is updated twice a day.

Council is advising heavy vehicle operators that Clothiers Creek Road between Norths Lane and Condor Place is reducing the weight limit applied to 4.5t due to slip damage to the road. Heavy vehicle operators need to use alternate routes which may have an impact on school bus services that use this road.

Today, Council has prioritised work on nine roads that are closed because they are too dangerous or impassable.

They are: Mt Warning, Tomewin, Manns, Couchy Creek, Dungay Creek, Palmvale, Porters, Solomons and Spring Valley roads.

The damage to some of these roads has small communities still isolated.

Council also is assessing the condition of Byrrill Creek Bridge to get a temporary repair as soon as possible. Any repair may still take three to four weeks.

Today Council also will be working on Piggabeen Road Bridge No 155 (timber bridge) to effect temporary repairs.

Priority roads are being washed free of mud and dirt once waters have receded sufficiently, including Tweed Valley Way and Bartletts Road which are carrying heavy traffic taking loads of rubbish and flood debris to the tip at Stotts Creek.

Today Council is closing Riverside Drive, Tumbulgum, to emergency services vehicles and local residents only, as heavy flows of sight-seeing traffic is hampering efforts to clean Tumbulgum, and for Council’s Water and Wastewater Unit to access properties to get the entire sewerage system cleared of blockages and operational.

“The information we are providing is the best source of truth we have but in emergency situations where access is difficult and, given that Council lost 90 per cent of its own fleet, our information may not be complete,” said Director Engineering David Oxenham.

“Residents can contact Council on 6670 2400 to report any major road damage not listed below but we ask you not to report portholes or minor damage at this stage.

“Over the coming weeks, our crews will get out on every road and assess the damage to compile our program of works to repair.”

To view the full list of updated road closures please visit:

This is updated twice a day.

Wednesday 5 April, 2017

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To view Tweed Shire Council media releases online visit

Tweed Draft Community Strategic Plan on display

‘Living and Loving the Tweed’

Draft Community Strategic Plan goes on public exhibition

On public exhibition for community comment from 2nd January 2017 to 25th February 2017, ‘Living and Loving the Tweed’ is the theme of Council’s Draft Community Strategic Plan 2017-2027.

The primary purpose of the plan is to document the community’s priorities for the next decade and to define Council’s related goals, strategies and targets.

Mayor of Tweed, Councillor Katie Milne, said a comprehensive community engagement process over the 58 days of public exhibition will provide a variety of ways for people to learn more about this important Community Strategic Plan and provide further input.

“This plan aims to set out the community’s vision and Council’s commitment for the Tweed for the next 10 years,” she said.  “A lot of people are doing it tough and our environment is suffering too. The most effective strategies need to be identified so we can all flourish with our limited resources.

“We must urgently progress the opportunities of a better, fairer and more creative, clean, green future that is essential now more than ever with climate change. It’s imperative we get our priorities right so our future communities benefit rather than be left more vulnerable.

“The draft plan has been shaped by thousands of initial contributions and conversations from the community; through our shire-wide survey and many community engagement events.

“It’s important the whole spectrum of the community is represented in this plan and particularly in this final public exhibition period, so please have your say,” she said.

A series of community engagement events are across the Tweed this month to take the discussion out into the community.

A final version of the Community Strategic Plan will be adopted in mid-2017, accompanied by a delivery program which outlines the projects to be undertaken to achieve the plan’s broader visions.

To view the Draft Community Strategic Plan and for information on making a submission please visit

For further background on the project, community engagement activities and the related ‘Tweed the Future is Ours’ initiative, please visit:
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To view Tweed Shire Council media releases online visit

Murwillumbah Museum reopens

Last days to see breastplate exhibition
Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah reopened yesterday – Tuesday 17th January, 2017, after a temporary closure as a safety precaution during repairs to the building’s air conditioning system.

The Queensland Road facility was closed last week after a piece of the air conditioner ceiling ducting became loose, prompting concerns about public safety.

A solution to secure the ducting, to protect the safety of visitors and staff, has been put in place by Monday as an interim measure until full repairs to the air conditioning system can be completed.

Breastplates exhibition ends this Saturday

Only a few days remain to see one of the Museum’s most significant and thought-provoking exhibitions – of breastplates given to Aboriginal people associated with the Northern Rivers in the late 1800s and early 1900s – before the display ends this Saturday.

Current exhibitions also include some of the most beautiful butterflies from Australia, Asia and South America, featured in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February.


Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah is located at 2 Queensland Rd, Murwillumbah and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm.

For further information about the Museum visit or 

Photo captions:
1. Only a few days remain to see the thought-provoking Aboriginal breastplates exhibition at Tweed Regional Museum Murwillumbah. Photo by Justin Ealand.
2. The Richmond Birdwing featured in the Beautiful Butterflies exhibition on display in the Collector’s Cabinet until 25 February. Photo by Trevor Worden.

Don’t Flush! Council welcomes wet wipe legal action

Wipes in pipes clogging sewer systems

Tweed Shire Council (TSC) has welcomed news that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched legal action against the manufacturers of ‘flushable’ wet wipes.

The ACCC is taking legal action against two manufacturers on the grounds that labelling the wipes ‘flushable’ is misleading, as it suggests consumers can safely flush them down the toilet.


“This is great news not only for Tweed Shire Council but for all local government and water authorities worldwide,” said Manager Water and Wastewater Anthony Burnham.

“Wet wipes clogging our sewers and breaking our pumps is one of the daily challenges we face in keeping the Tweed’s sewer system operating.

“Every day we are called to an average of 20 blockages and most of them are caused by materials that should never be flushed, including wet wipes.

Photo:  Water Engineer Elizabeth Seidl demonstrates that wet wipes do not break down (jar on left) like toilet paper does (jar on right). The wipe has remained intact in the water for five months to date.

“Australia-wide, the wet wipes problem is estimated to be costing the community up to $15 million a year in fees to remove the items from sewers, pump stations and treatment plants.”

Here in the Tweed, it takes two workers and a truck up to two hours to clear a blockage.

For each blockage, Council fitters have to travel to site, lift the pump with a crane truck, dismantle the pump, remove the blockage, re-assemble the pump and put the station back on line.

“Every time there is a blockage we also risk damaging the pump, the pipework and the electrical equipment, not to mention the excess power used by the pump trying to push the blockage through,” said Mr Burnham.

Council believes the legal action is a step forward in tackling the issue of consumers flushing these products, which do not break down.

Photo: Reticulation Assistant Darryn Gunton fishes wet wipes and nappies from a sewer manhole at Murwillumbah.

“The next step is to educate consumers to keep wipes out of our pipes,” said Mr Burnham.

“It’s a message we hope will be heard loud and clear because if that blockage occurs on private property, it is the property owner who has to pay to unblock it. Then there’s the risk of raw sewerage overflow into neighbouring properties or the environment.”

Other items that should never be flushed are women’s sanitary products, medical dressings, cotton buds, condoms, colostomy bags and disposable nappies.

These materials should be bagged and disposed of in a rubbish bin.

To view media releases online visit
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