20 May 2024

Affected by flooding? Wollongong Council wants to talk with you

| Zoe Cartwright
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Wollongong City Council has scheduled community meetings for Windang and Thirroul residents to discuss flooding concerns. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Wollongong City Council has announced several face-to-face drop-in sessions to talk with residents about their concerns after the recent floods.

To be held between 1 pm and 6:30 pm on a Friday in Windang and Thirroul, the “Let’s Chat” community meetings will have subject matter experts available from the council to listen to residents and share their knowledge and expertise.

“We know many people appreciated how we mobilised our staff out of their usual roles to assist with the city’s clean-up and the coordinated way we continue to prioritise repairs to key infrastructure and seek to get the city back on its feet as soon as possible,” Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said.

“This job is far from done and these meetings are being set up in Windang and Thirroul to provide an opportunity for community members to continue to have direct contact with council staff.

“This is an opportunity to engage with council staff as we continue to work through and prioritise rebuilding and repairing those parts of our city significantly impacted by recent rain and storm events. We need to focus our limited resources for the greatest immediate benefit.’’

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The first of the meetings will be held on Friday, 24 May, from 1 pm to 6:30 pm at Windang Senior Citizens Centre.

On hand will be council representatives who can talk about infrastructure and assets, planning for Lake Illawarra, and floodplain and stormwater management.

A spokesperson said the council was also working to have representatives from other key agencies present.

“There is nothing like local knowledge,’’ the council’s general manager Greg Doyle said.

“By linking up representatives from our team who have extensive technical and practical knowledge with those who live in Windang, we’re able to check in on what we’re seeing and hearing and make sure it’s in alignment with residents’ perceptions and needs.

“We want to make sure we’re listening to and responding to local issues and concerns, whether they’re something that is within council’s remit, or something that we’re able to advocate for with other agencies.’’

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Mr Doyle said the council knew there was a passionate community in Windang who wanted action around the erosion on the banks of Lake Illawarra caused by the lake entrance being opened, which has been exacerbated by the recent heavy rainfall.

“The flood event and the resulting escalation of bank erosion has meant there’s a greater urgency for stakeholders and key agencies to get around a table and come up with a way forward,’’ he said.

“We’ll have information on the work we’ve done, what we’ve been doing and the next steps we’ll be able to share with the community at this session.’’

A “Let’s Chat” Thirroul session will be held on Friday, 7 June, at Thirroul Community Centre and Library from 12:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Further details of this session will be shared closer to the date.

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