Closed flood clean-up programs
The EPA has completed 4 flood recovery programs for the storms and floods of 2021 and 2022. These programs were funded under the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements and will be evaluated before June 2024 to make sure they were effective and delivered on key objectives.
Shoreline clean-up program
The EPA’s Shoreline Clean-up Program removed flood debris from waterways, beaches and shorelines of rivers in disaster declared areas. The program closed June 2023.
The EPA engaged specialist contractors Northern Rivers Marine Services (NRMS) and AVCON Australasia to remove flood debris from shorelines using boats and barges. Beaches were cleaned through manual hand-picking and accessed by foot, 4WD or jet ski.
In total, 24,438m3 of flood debris was removed from 30 local government areas.
Submerged debris program
The EPA’s Flood Recovery Program for Submerged Debris identified submerged flood debris and assessed its risk to the environment and human safety. The EPA engaged specialised contractors SandMap and Hydrographic & Cadastral Survey to complete sonar surveys that identified debris in flood affected rivers and collaborated with NSW Maritime and NSW Fisheries to determine whether identified debris required removal. The program closed August 2023.
Surveying was conducted in priority areas at Camden Haven Inlet, Bellinger-Kalang, Clarence, Hastings, Hawkesbury, Macleay, Manning, Nambucca, Richmond, Shoalhaven, Tweed, Wilsons, Woronora Rivers.
It was found that most items of submerged debris did not pose a level of risk and were best left in situ. 143 items were removed by specialist contractors NRMS or no longer posed a hazard to human or environmental health.
NSW Maritime used the sonar data for the Hawkesbury River to produce a series of maps showing post-flood survey information for the Hawkesbury River to share with the boating public. They have been published on the boating maps page of the NSW Government website as custom plan number HY2023-7.
Land-based clean-up program
The EPA's Flood Recovery Program for Land-Based Clean Up supported environmental recovery through the removal of man-made flood debris from public land and eligible large and hazardous flood debris from private properties and cane farms. The program was completed in August 2023. MRA Consulting Group were appointed to project manage this program.
In total, the program resulted in 1,461 tonnes of man-made flood debris including large and hazardous flood debris being safely managed across 44 LGAs.
The dashboard below shows the locations of sites where debris was removed.
Central West-Cabonne flood clean-up program
The EPA’s Central West-Cabonne flood clean-up was a short-term response focused on towns in the Cabonne local government area that were affected by the November 2022 floods. The program commenced in February 2023 and removed debris from Eugowra, Molong and Cudal.
The EPA engaged specialist contractors AVCON Australasia to remove flood debris. This targeted program was completed in April 2023 and removed 1,147 cubic metres of debris. The flood debris removal continues in the Central West under the Flood Debris Maintenance Program.