by Anna Watson

Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson MP, has today called on Shellharbour City Council to implement a one-off, free kerbside collection service across the whole Shellharbour LGA, to assist with the clean-up, following the recent major weather event that impacted the region.

In a letter to Shellharbour City Mayor, Councillor Chris Homer, on Friday, Ms Watson called on Council to consider her proposal, after 424.1mm of rainfall was recorded in the Shellharbour area since 1 March 2022. This amount far exceeds the areas average rainfall for the month of March.

“During this unprecedented weather event, there were many reports of localised flooding in the Shellharbour LGA, with the SES issuing a Flood Evacuation Warning for low lying areas around Lake Illawarra on 2 March 2022” said Ms Watson.

The NSW SES Shellharbour City Unit has since reported attending to over 170 requests for assistance, from 1 March 2022. Of these calls:

·         103 requests were for assistance with storm damage ·         33 calls for help due to flooding ·         4 flood rescues ·         1 evacuation request

“As a consequence of this weather event, many properties in the Shellharbour LGA may have experienced damage to some degree, whether directly impacted by flood waters or storm damage, or due to roof leaks and mould infestation. These households are now faced with a big and expensive clean-up”.

“I’m calling on Shellharbour City Council, as a gesture of good will, to provide local ratepayers, with a one-off free kerbside household collection service, to enable local households to dispose of damaged or unwanted household items.”

“Shellharbour ratepayers are currently forced to pay in order to dispose of larger household items, such as mattresses or furniture. Council’s residential waste fees & charges schedule indicates that it costs up to $39 to dispose of a mattress alone, whilst the current on-call bulk kerbside collection incurs a fee of $100.”

“A one-off, free kerbside collection will really help to ease the burden on local residents who have been impacted by the recent severe weather event. Council must stand up and do what’s right for local ratepayers” said Ms Watson.