News, road works

Massive clean-up underway in the northern suburbs after ‘big wet’ causes widespread damage

MOST northern suburbs sports grounds remain closed this weekend as Wollongong City Council continues the massive cleanup effort after the big wet.

The cleanup efforts extend to roads, parks, pools and drains. So far, Council has filled countless potholes on roads, cleaned and refilled saltwater and rock pools, cleaned out litter from drains and culverts, picked-up rubbish from beaches, begun rectification works on scarped sand dunes, and continues the massive task of mowing grass on public spaces.

“Our focus is to tidy-up our public spaces and repair any damage caused by the recent severe weather,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbury said.

“Although Wollongong was fortunate to escape the worst of the wet weather and floods, our public spaces are looking a little worse for wear.

“Our sportsgrounds in particular are a big priority for our community as we know families and sporting clubs are keen to get back outside. We’re doing our best to mow the grass on our sportsgrounds, but we are asking for our community’s patience.

“When the ground holds too much water, it can be challenging to get our heavy grass-cutting equipment on to them safely, without causing further damage to their surface. A lot of our sportsgrounds are also prone to flooding, so it may take some time for these areas to drain and dry enough for a mow.

“If you come across a site that’s been partly mown, that likely means that one of our staff attempted to mow the area but found that the ground was simply too wet to continue. We’ll be back to these areas as soon as possible to finish the job.”

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said that the cleanup efforts began last week during a break in the heavy rain.

“Last week, we saw an opportunity to make a start on removing debris from our city’s beaches and drainage systems, carry out road repairs and remove fallen trees when it was safe to do so,” Mr Doyle said.

“Our focus will continue to be on ensuring the safety of our community and Council staff. We look after a large local government area from Helensburgh in the north to Yallah in the south, and we’re conscious that there’s still a lot of work to do to get our city back into shape.

“We have said it before, but I’d like to remind people that it won’t be an overnight clean-up. Our staff are prioritising high-risk issues such as fallen trees and clearing out culverts to prevent flooding.

“We also want to get people back using our sportsgrounds as soon as possible as we know that’s a priority for our community. In the meantime, we appreciate everyone’s patience and support as we tidy up our public spaces. A big thank you as well to the people who have been helping in small ways by picking up litter they find that’s washed up on our beaches.”

Council is catching-up to cut the grass across 42 sportsgrounds throughout the city, and will continue to update the availability of public spaces at its Sportsgrounds webpage.

To report a non-emergency issue such as a pothole, fallen tree on public land or long grass visit: report it online.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of Australian pubs and associated industries for over 30 years. He is working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick managed several community newspapers. He has been editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), the Sydney city newspaper, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW.

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