Showing posts with label Northern Rivers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Northern Rivers. Show all posts

Sunday, 24 January 2021

National Parks & Wildlife consulting over future of Wollumbin summit track


IMAGE: Visit North Coast NSW

Echo NetDaily, 22 January 2021:

A number of traditional custodians of the sacred site have called for non-Indigenous people to refrain from undertaking the five-hour trek.

Up to 100,000 people climb the mountain each year, according to tourism data. However, some leave rubbish such as soiled toilet paper by the side of the track and at the stunning peak.

The track has been closed for much of the past year owing to COVID-19, and it now appears it may stay that way.

A safety audit and an engineering assessment conducted during the closure have identified significant safety issues with the final climb to the Wollumbin summit.

These include an ‘extreme risk of landslide, rockfall and failure of the chain section of the track’.

A spokesperson from the National Parks and Wildlife Service said the current closure had been extended, at least until May.

Tellingly, the spokesperson also said that the future of the summit track was now under consideration.

This was being done in consultation with various key stakeholders, including the traditional owners of the site.

We understand that locals and visitors may be disappointed by the extended closure, however our main priority must always be to ensure the safety of visitors and staff,’ the spokesperson said.

We will now consider the future of the Summit track, in consultation with key community and tourism stakeholders, including Aboriginal Elders and knowledge holders.’

Wollumbin, which means ‘cloud catcher’ in some Aboriginal languages, is a traditional place of cultural law, initiation and spiritual education for the people of the Bundjalung Nation.

Under Bundjalung law, only certain people can climb the summit.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service asks visitors to respect the wishes of the local Indigenous mob and ‘avoid climbing this very difficult track’.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

The Berejiklian Government appears willing to stand by and watch wild koalas rapidly go extinct in New South Wales within the next 30 years

Under cover of the public heath emergency created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Berejiklian Government is still not genuinely moving to save koala populations in New South Wales from extinction.

The Liberal Party leadership is still paralysed by the blackmail threats of National Party leader and MLA for Monaro John Barilaro - and so Liberal MLA for Hornsby Matt Kean in his conflicted role of Minister for Energy and Environment is doing little except mouthing soothing platitudes and making empty promises.

Because logging remaining native forests on Crown and private land - for woodchip, logs, sawn & dressed timber and biomass for power station/s - is what Liberal and Nationals shadowy political donors, greedy logging companies and developers hungry for cheap land are insisting needs to happen.

People in the Northern Rivers region are noticing.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 January 2021: 

Koala advocates say the NSW government is not doing enough to save the animal from extinction after it backed without qualification a quarter of the recommendations of an upper house inquiry into the marsupial's populations and habitat. 

In its formal response into the koala inquiry, the government supported 11 of the 42 recommendations, while offering "support in principle" to 17 others. 

It "noted" the remaining 14. Among the recommendations supported was the suggestion the government rule out opening old-growth forests within the state reserve for logging, and that it create Georges River National Park to secure habitat on Sydney's southern fringe. 

However, it only "noted" the call to investigate setting up a Great Koala National Park in northern NSW. 

“Recommendations such as the government urgently investigates the ‘utilisation of core koala habitat on private land and in state forests to replenish koala habitat lost in the bushfires’ appear to be rejected out of hand," Cate Faehrmann, the Greens MP and chair of the upper house committee, said. 

“Many of the key recommendations, the vast majority of which were supported by all committee members because they are what needs to be done to save koalas from extinction, seem to have been rejected outright." 

The inquiry's report, released last June, found koalas were on track for extinction in the wild in NSW before 2050 with habitat loss the main driver of their demise. Environment Minister Matt Kean said in the following month that he would set a goal to double the numbers of the animals - believed to be as few as 15,000 to 20,000 - by 2050.....

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Now is not the time for the NSW North Coast to be complacent about the COVID-19 pandemic

NSW Police, News, 4 January 2021:

A 27-year-old Cronulla woman has received two PINs in three days for failing to self-isolate as required under the Public Health Act. Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District attended a resort at Byron Bay about 8.30pm on Thursday (31 December 2020), after receiving information in relation a possible breach of public health orders. Police were told the woman had been notified she was a close contact of a positive COVID case but was not self-isolating and had not been tested. The woman was provided advice about testing facilities and self-isolation before being given PPE to assist with safe travel to the facility. Officers returned to the resort about 8pm the following day (Friday 1 January 2021), and found the woman was not self-isolating. The woman was issued a $1000 PIN for failing to comply with the direction under S7/8/9 of the Public Health Act. About 3.30pm yesterday (Sunday 3 January 2021), police were again called to resort after reports the woman was not self-isolating, instead swimming in the resort pool. Following inquiries, the woman was issued with another $1000 PIN for failing to comply with the direction under S7/8/9 of the Public Health Act.

Two people have been issued PINs after leaving their Northern Beaches home to holiday on the state’s north coast. On Saturday (3 January 2021), police were notified that a man and woman, both aged 32, had left their Collaroy home the previous day to travel to Yamba for a holiday. Officers from Coffs/Clarence Police District spoke with the pair and determined they didn’t have a lawful excuse for leaving their home and, in doing so, had breached the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order. Both were issued an $1000 PIN.

Northern NSW Local Health District, media release excerpt, 5 January 2021: 

There have been no new confirmed cases of locally acquired COVID-19 reported in Northern NSW Local Health District residents since 25 July, 165 days ago. 

Two new case have been recorded in Lismore City Council area residents on 3 January who acquired their infection overseas. 

These two people are currently in hotel quarantine and will be released from isolation once health staff confirm that it is safe to do so.

Monday, 4 January 2021

"There are no monuments to those who have risked their lives and liberty in the defence of Australia’s unique and precious ecology": David Lowe

Echo NetDaily, 1 January 2021:

In Australia, it’s not easy being green. There are no monuments to those who have risked their lives and liberty in the defence of Australia’s unique and precious ecology.

When the protectors win, their reward is a surviving chunk of the world they have fought for, whether that’s Kelly’s Bush in the case of the green bans, or the Franklin River in the 1980s, or the unpolluted air and water of the Northern Rivers of NSW in the 21st century, saved from gasfields.

Australia’s original environmentalists, those who were here before and after European contact, paid a heavy price for their defence of country.

Uncle Yillah at Bentley.

The first Australians were fighting for their lives, as well as their home – these two things were completely intertwined. More than two centuries on, it’s become clear that we’re all in the same boat, even if some of us don’t yet want to admit it.

The idea of healthy human life in the absence of a healthy natural world is dangerous nonsense. This is the only home we have. Whatever the battlefield, the fight for our environment and our fellow species is fundamentally a fight for life and reality, in the face of invented, abstract concepts such as economic growth and shareholder profit.

The truisms of a thousand protest banners – no jobs on a dead planet, no Planet B – have become self-evident, no longer even controversial. But the environmental fight continues. If anything, it has intensified……

For many activists, myself included, there’s a strange internal tension between feelings of power and powerlessness.

Once you have been part of a movement that’s won a battle against great odds, it is harder to settle back into the anaesthetising idea that one person can’t make a difference. Unlike most members of society, you are no longer off the hook. The cause may seem almost unwinnable, but if there’s a chance that it’s not – and there always is – it becomes unethical not to act.

For Benny Zable, the difficulty of the ‘hopeless’ cause makes it ‘worth doing non-violent actions that are demanding – it makes for trying harder to communicate your point convincingly across to the public.’

As George Woods puts it, ‘Taking right action and acting out of love are always worthwhile, regardless of the outcome.’

Muzz Drechsler told me, ‘I don’t like losing but I don’t do it to win. I do it because this is how I choose to show my love of Mother Earth.’


Many activists, particularly women, are reluctant to dwell on the personal, human costs of their activism. The wounds are just too deep.

That said, most have told me they had ‘no choice’ but to stand up….

Read the full article here

Sunday, 3 January 2021

One of the looming threats to NSW forests in 2021

Hunter Energy Limited, formerly Hunter Energy Pty Ltd, was registered on 6 March 2018.

Its current spokespersons appear to believe that cutting down native forest to supply a power plant with biomass is a “closed loop” with no cilmate or environmental consequences.

However, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration; “although the CO2 released from biofuel or bioenergy combustion is assumed to be fully accounted for by the uptake of carbon during the growth of the feedstock used to produce the biofuels or bioenergy…..analysts have debated whether the increased use of biomass energy may result in a loss of terrestrial carbon stocks and foregone future sequestration by natural vegetation. The initial loss of carbon stocks in natural vegetation cleared to grow biomass feedstocks and the foregone future removal of CO2 are not captured in energy sector emissions.”

Dependent on species, it would probably take 25 years for a single tree to store est. 400 to 544 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Eucalypts reaching 8 meters in height might store up to 1 tonne of carbon

So when one is cut down after 25 years and burnt that’s basically how much initial greenhouse gas emissions are released back into the atmosphere from the tree itself – where emissions will remain until 25 years later when hopefully another tree has survived long enough to store a similar amount of carbon.

Multiple that first tree by the up to 1.8 to 3 billion 25 year-old trees estimated to be annually required to feed Hunter Energy’s proposed Redbank Power Station fuelled by biomass and, one begins to see that biomass-generated power is not a closed system at all – it is simply one predicated on at best naked hope and at worst a complete denial of climate change realities regarding Australian native forest tree growth.

Nevertheless, the Berejiklian Coalition Government under blackmail threat by Deputy-Premier and Nationals MLA for Monaro John Barilaro, will push ahead with legislation which allows biomass logging in north east New South Wales.

Logging which would lead inevitably to the destruction of our remaining closed-cover mature native forests.

In this Barilaro will be aided and abetted by NSW Nationals MLA Chris Gulaptis and Nationals Federal MP for Page Kevin Hogan.


According to Wikipedia:

On 5 October 2013, Redbank Energy’s wholly owned subsidiary Redbank Project Pty Ltd (Redbank Project) was notified by its secured lenders of the appointment of receivers to Redbank Project, Redbank Construction Pty Ltd and the shares in Redbank Project held by Redbank Project Holdco Pty Ltd,[5] with debts of $192 million.[6]

In Oct 2014, receivers KordaMentha announced immediate closure of the Plant with its remaining assets including the turbine, generator and plant and equipment to be sold.[7]

On 17 September 2015 Redbank Energy (REL) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Biogreen Energy Pty Limited (Biogreen), had purchased the land, plant and equipment and water rights owned by Redbank Project for $5 million, but that it intended "to commence the work to raise the funds necessary to recommence the operation of the Redbank Power Station".[8][9]

On 25 August 2016 Redbank Energy issued the following statement to shareholders via the ASX. "In response to shareholder enquiries, Redbank Energy Limited (ASX: AEJ) (REL) wishes to provide the following market update. Unfortunately, REL will be removed from the ASX official list on 29 August 2016. The immediate catalyst for delisting will be the non-payment of the 2016/17 ASX annual listing fee, which falls due on 27 August 2016. The reason for REL not paying the 2016/17 ASX listing fee is because REL will automatically be suspended on 9 October 2016 due to continual suspension." Redbank was subsequently delisted from the close of trading on Monday, 29 August 2016 pursuant to Listing rule 17.15.[10]

On 10 April 2018, Fairfax Media announced that the power plant could be restarted in Q1 2019 to provide cheap off-the-grid power for blockchain mining applications.[11]

Financial Review, 26 May 2020:

The Redbank Power Station in NSW, formerly owned by ASX-listed Redbank Energy and its predecessors Alinta Energy and Babcock & Brown Power, is set for a comeback to the ASX-boards.

This time Redbank will be housed in a new company called Hunter Energy, which was set up by a bunch of former Australian Power & Gas execs, and acquired Redbank in 2018. (It is run by Richard Poole, a former investment banker and Cascade Coal director).

Hunter Energy has turned the dormant Redbank into a "green energy power plant", according to marketing materials in front of potential investors, able to produce enough energy to power 200,000 to 250,000 homes using waste biomass for fuel.

Hunter Energy wants to switch the plant on by the end of this year to provide what it says would be around the clock and reliable baseload power with zero net emissions….

Financial Review, 26 May 2020:

The Redbank Power Station in NSW, formerly owned by ASX-listed Redbank Energy and its predecessors Alinta Energy and Babcock & Brown Power, is set for a comeback to the ASX-boards.

This time Redbank will be housed in a new company called Hunter Energy, which was set up by a bunch of former Australian Power & Gas execs, and acquired Redbank in 2018. (It is run by Richard Poole, a former investment banker and Cascade Coal director).

Hunter Energy has turned the dormant Redbank into a "green energy power plant", according to marketing materials in front of potential investors, able to produce enough energy to power 200,000 to 250,000 homes using waste biomass for fuel.

Hunter Energy wants to switch the plant on by the end of this year to provide what it says would be around the clock and reliable baseload power with zero net emissions….

Echo NetDaily, 26 November 2020:

As glaciers, ice sheets, and the poles continue to melt due to the human impacts on the environment it is bordering on criminal for the Australian and NSW governments to be supporting the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere, let alone clearing and burning trees for biomass energy production.

According to studies being done on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet reported in it is becoming clear ‘that increasingly warming climate, as expected for the near future, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet could be less stable than previously thought’.

The future melting of polar ice sheets and the associated rise in global sea level as a consequence of climate change will have a substantial impact on low-elevation coastal areas.’

Yet the Federal government is promoting a gas led COVID-19 recovery, the NSW government has facilitated the approval of the Narrabri Gas Project, and the biomass Redbank Power Station near Singleton appears to be planning a reboot.

The imminent rebooting of the mothballed Redbank Power Station (near Singleton) with north-east NSW’s forests will make it Australia’s most polluting power station and an existential threat to the future of our children and wildlife,’ according to the North East Forest Alliance (NEFA).

According to NEFA Hunter Energy is currently seeking expressions of interest for timber from across north-east NSW to fuel their Redbank Power Station, with plans to restart the facility in mid-2021 fed by native forests to make it one of world’s ten biggest biomass power plants.

The claims are that it will power 200,000 homes, which was identified in 2017 North Coast Residues Report as requiring one million tonnes of biomass to be taken from north-east NSW’s forests and plantations each year, with 60 per cent of this coming from private forests,’ said NEFA spokesperson Dailan Pugh.

This is sheer madness as burning this volume will release some 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year to fuel climate heating, increased droughts, heatwaves, and more intense bushfires, while increasing forest degradation and hastening species extinctions.

The community needs to urgently speak up to stop the NSW and Commonwealth Governments from allowing this environmental disaster,’ Mr Pugh said.

NEFA have said that biomass is even more polluting than coal and releases up to 50 per cent more CO2 to generate the equivalent amounts of energy.

Then there’s all the CO2 released by machines during logging and in hauling the wood from across north-east NSW to Singleton,’ said Susie Russel from NEFA.

It will be a nightmare for rural communities with thousands of extra trucks plying narrow rural roads, crossing small deteriorating bridges, passing through peaceful villages and then roaring down the Pacific Highway to Redbank.

This will be subsidized by taxpayers under the pretense that burning trees is renewable energy as the trees will regrow and decades or centuries later take up the carbon released by burning them.

We are in a climate emergency and cannot afford to spew millions of tonnes of additional carbon into the atmosphere at a time when we need to be urgently reducing atmospheric carbon, and we need to leave our trees alive to do it as they are the only viable means of carbon capture and storage,’ Ms Russell said.

Mr Pugh continued, ‘Our suffering forest wildlife will be impacted most severely as forest degradation skyrockets with all those previously uneconomic trees taken……

NEFA have said that biomass is even more polluting than coal and releases up to 50 per cent more CO2 to generate the equivalent amounts of energy. [my yellow highlighting]

Hunter Energy, retrieved 28 December 2020:

Upon re-start, Redbank will be one of the largest green baseload renewable energy providers in NSW and the ONLY existing facility capable of providing urgently required green 24/7 baseload power, adding to grid stability.


Monday, 21 December 2020

“A big shout out to all of our first responders, particularly volunteer SES crews, for their exemplary work in several life-saving rescues, completing hundreds of call-outs for assistance, and monitoring and sandbagging across the region" during recent flooding - Janelle Saffin MLA

Saffin welcomes disaster assistance for our Electorate

STATE Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin has welcomed news that natural disaster assistance will flow to flood and storm-affected residents, councils, businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations in Lismore City, Tweed and Kyogle Local Government Areas.

Ms Saffin yesterday (17 December) joined NSW Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott, NSW State Emergency Services Commissioner Carlene York, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Lismore Deputy Mayor Cr Neil Marks at SES Northern Rivers Command Centre in Goonellabah, where the relief was confirmed under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, and Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan were also there for the announcement.

Ms Saffin said she was with Minister Elliott in Tenterfield and Drake on Wednesday (16 December) and had hoped a natural disaster declaration would be made promptly.

This was before Lismore was thrown into afternoon chaos by torrential rain and flash flooding,” Ms Saffin said.

I thank Minister Elliott and his Federal counterpart, Emergency Management Minister David Littleproud, for recognising that Lismore’s flash flood and the evacuations and damage associated with flooding in South Murwillumbah and Tumbulgum this week were very serious events.

Lessons have been learnt from major floods in 2017, where the disaster assistance did not meet the need to repair and restore the catastrophic damage to Lismore and Murwillumbah.

A big shout out to all of our first responders, particularly volunteer SES crews, for their exemplary work in several life-saving rescues, completing hundreds of call-outs for assistance, and monitoring and sandbagging across the region this past week.”

Assistance available under the DRFA may include:

  • Help for eligible people whose homes or belongings have been damaged

  • Support for affected local councils to help with the costs of cleaning up and restoring damaged essential public assets

  • Concessional interest rate loans for small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations

  • Freight subsidies for primary producers, and

  • Grants to eligible non-profit organisations.

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance, contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.

To apply for a concessional loan or grant, contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit

Further information on disaster assistance is available on the NSW emergency information and response website at and on the Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website at

Friday, 18 December 2020.

Thursday, 17 December 2020

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare releases a new report but the problem of homelessness remains

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), media release, 11 December 2020:

More than 290,000 Australians were assisted by government-funded Specialist Homelessness Services during 2019–20, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The latest Specialist Homelessness Services annual report covers the 2019–20 period, including months before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and is accompanied by updated Specialist Homelessness Services Collection Data Cubes with information on clients assisted in states and territories.

Government-funded Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) assist Australians who are experiencing homelessness—or at risk of becoming homeless—with services such as advice, counselling, professional legal services, meals and accommodation, said AIHW spokesperson Dr. Gabrielle Phillips.

Between 2015–16 and 2019–20, the number of clients helped by specialist homelessness agencies increased by an average of 1.0% per year from 279,200 to 290,500 people. ‘In 2019–20, about 114,000 clients were homeless when they first presented to services seeking help and 152,300 were at risk of homelessness.’

Of the 290,000 clients who were assisted in 2019–20, 60% (174,500) were female and 29% (85,000) were aged under 18 years.

About 119,000 clients assisted by Specialist Homelessness Services had experienced family and domestic violence, up from 116,000 clients in 2018–19. Ninety per cent of adult clients who had experienced family and domestic violence were female and over half (51%) of clients aged under 18 years had experienced family and domestic violence.

About 88,300 clients accessing services in 2019–20 reported having a current mental health issue which was almost 1 in 3 of all SHS clients (30%).

People with current mental health issues is one of the fastest growing client groups, increasing by 22% since 2015–16,’ Dr. Phillips said.

Various factors, including increased identification, community awareness and reduced stigma, may have had an impact on the increase in self-identification and reporting of mental illness among Specialist Homelessness Services clients.’

About $68.7 million in financial assistance was provided to clients in 2019–20, up from $61.1 million in 2018–19. This included $32.3 million used to help clients establish or maintain existing tenancies and $21.9 million to provide short-term or emergency accommodation, some of which was related to COVID-19 responses.

Clients supported each month can be found in our SHS monthly data product; the latest release includes preliminary data for the June–September 2020 time period.

In New South Wales in 2019-20 homeless agencies provided 70,400 individuals with a a service – 41% of these people were in regional areas, 1% in remote areas and 58% in major cities.

At least 38,334 of these individuals were homeless when they first presented (around 3,066 having no shelter or improvised shelter) and the majority of these homeless people appear to have been female.

Given that 1.6 million women in Australia are thought to have experienced sexual and/or physical violence from a partner it should come as no surprise that family or domestic violence was one of the top three reasons given by those seeking assistance.

The services offered by homeless agencies could have been information only, referral to another agency, overnight accommodation, short-term accommodation, advocacy in an effort to obtain permanent accommodation pr retain existing accommodation - or no assistance was able to be given at the time so that the individual walked out as homeless as when they entered the agency. On average 25 requests for assistance went unmet each day.

The 2016 national census revealed that across Australia 116,000 people were experiencing homelessness on census night. It also revealed the NSW Northern Rivers region was no stranger this homelessness. In the Richmond Valley – Hinterland 57.5 persons out of every 10,000 were homeless, in Richmond Valley – Coastal it was 53.9 persons per 10,000, the Tweed Valley 48.6 persons and Clarence Valley 44.8 persons.

In 2020 it was reported that local police believed that up to 400 women were sleeping in tents or cars in the Byron Bay area and it is thought that over 200 people may be sleeping rough in the Clarence Valley.

Monday, 14 December 2020

Comes December 2020, comes a La Niña rain dump


This was the outlook on the NSW North Coast last Saturday evening…..

The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 December 2020:

Tens of thousands of residents in northern NSW were on high alert on Saturday evening ahead of wild weather expected to arrive late on Sunday and into Monday.

Sandbagging was under way and some residents were relocating to higher ground as the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers regions braces for torrential rainfall and potential major flooding over the next 48 hours.

A deepening trough over the state was also expected to be accompanied by damaging winds gusting up to 90km/h and a damaging surf as waves were set to exceed five metres.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned abnormally high tides could lead to coastal inundation and significant beach erosion north from Ballina.

It said rainfall was likely to be heavier in localities affected by severe thunderstorms. "This may lead to dangerous flash flooding,” it said.

The community of Ocean Shores, near Byron Bay, was caught without warning by flash flooding on Saturday afternoon.

An hour of pelting rain saw the streets inundated with whitewater in the coastal town.

The greatest concern in NSW looking ahead is for low lying properties that flank the Bellinger River, south of Coffs Harbour…..

The NSW SES urged people in flood-prone parts of the Bellingen region to relocate to the homes of family or friends outside the impact area….

A string of other areas across the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers were also on flood watch on Saturday.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

Tweed and Rouse Rivers minor to moderate flooding

Brunswick River and Marshalls Creek minor flooding

Wilsons River minor to moderate flooding

Richmond River minor flooding

Orara River moderate flooding

Coffs Coast minor flooding

Nambucca River minor to moderate flooding

Hastings River minor flooding

Authorities warned high water levels due to spring tides added to the risk of flooding in low lying areas…...

From Friday 11 to Saturday 12 December, although at least 108mm of rain had fallen on the Clarence Coast and at least 125mm inland in the Grafton area, the rain had not been accompanied by destructive storms and the Clarence River system was in no danger of heavy flooding.

Evans Head on the coast which received 158.6mm of rain in the same period appeared to be weathering the rain dump reasonably well.

Early Monday morning after a day and night of continuing rain, strong winds, high seas and king tides the northern coastline of New South Wales was bruised and battered.

Gale warnings continue for waters from the Coffs Coast up to the Tweed Coast and into south-east Queensland.

The rain dump continues to sit on top of north-east NSW and the Bureau of Meteorology states that more heavy rainfall is expected, along with:

DAMAGING WINDS, with winds averaging 60-70 km/h and gusts exceeding 90 km/h are possible along the coastal fringe north from about Yamba, possibly extending south to about Crescent Head on the Mid North Coast during the day. 

DAMAGING SURF, with waves exceeding 5 metres in the surf zone can be expected, extending south to Port Macquarie during the day, possibly leading to significant beach erosion. 

ABNORMALLY HIGH TIDES are expected along the coast north from about Ballina during this morning's high tide, which may lead to localised coastal inundation. The combination of Damaging Surf and Abnormally High Tides may enhance the risk of significant beach erosion north from about Ballina. 

A Flood Watch is current for the Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers and Flood Warnings have been issued for the Tweed, Wilsons, Bellinger and Brunswick Rivers, 

See for the latest Flood Watch/Warnings. 

Locations which may be affected include Tweed Heads, Byron Bay, Lismore, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Sawtell and Dorrigo.

Overnight, there were over 700 SES call-outs along the Mid North and Far North Coast regions. 

As yet the NSW Road Traffic Authority is not reporting any road closures for main roads and highways.

It is being reported that by Tuesday 15 December 2020, three day totals of 300-600 ml are predicted to fall across the North Coast.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Water Security State of Play: NSW Northern Rivers December 2020


As of 26 November 2020 an estimated 80.5 per cent of the NSW Northern Rivers region was not in drought. However, 1 per cent of the region was in full-blown drought, another 10 per cent drought affected and 8.2 per cent recovering, according to the NSW Dept. of Primary Industries.

By 2 December urban water supply in the region was coping but beginning to fall markedly. 

Clarence Valley Council sources its urban water from the Shannon Creek Dam and the Nymboida River Weir. Currently Shannon Creek Dam is at 84 per cent capacity and water flow at Nymboida Weir is well below safe extraction level. Level One water restrictions are in place across the valley.

Ballina Shire Council, Byron Shire Council, Lismore City Council and Richmond Valley Council all principally source their urban water through Rous County Council. The two dams in this cluster are currently at 90 per cent (Rocky Creek) and 89 per cent (Emigrant Creek). With Mullumbimby in Byron Shire sourcing its water from council’s own Laverty’s Weir. Everyday water restrictions apply in all four local government area ie., recommended water use of 160 litres per person per day.

Kyogle Shire Council draws its urban water from a weir on the Richmond River, a natural weir pool on Tooloom Creek and the small Petrochilos Dam with under gravel pump extraction from nearby Peacock Creek. Level One water restrictions are in place across the shire.

Toonumbar embankment dam on Iron Pot Creek about 30 kilometres west of Kyogle was at 55.7 percent of capacity on 30 November 2020.

Tweed Shire Council draws its urban water from the freshwater section of the Tweed River at Bray Park Weir, Clarrie Hall Dam and the weir pool on Tyalgum Creek (Oxley River). Due to low rainfall the Tyalgum district is now on Level Two water restrictions.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology rainfall and temperature predictions for January to March 2021 show that though the rest of summer may be hot across much of the Northern Rivers region there is reason to hope that rainfall will be adequate to meet our needs.