5 June 2024

You're invited to a post-flood 'Let's Chat' drop-in session in Thirroul

| Dione David
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Thirroul Library

Residents can stop by Thirroul Community Centre & Library this Friday between 12:30 and 6:30 pm and speak to council staff about the April floods. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Two months on from the April flooding that was declared a natural disaster, Wollongong City Council will hold a community drop-in session in Wollongong’s northern suburbs.

This Friday (7 June) the council will host a “Let’s Chat” session at Thirroul Community Centre & Library as an opportunity to hear directly from people about their issues and concerns in the wake of the floods.

Following the success of the council’s first Let’s Chat session at Windang last month, Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said conversations at these sessions would help keep the council and community “on the same page as we work towards our collective goal of making Wollongong a great place to live”.

“It’s important to us at council that we’re hearing directly from our community following this event to really understand how things have played out at a grassroots level,” he said.

“By holding this drop-in now, some weeks after the event, we’re able to hear from and listen to community members while things are still fresh in their minds, but with a little distance from the day itself.”

READ ALSO Don’t feel yourself after the floods? Lifeline’s Renee Green shares ways we can care for ourselves, and each other

Council subject matter experts will attend the drop-in session to speak to council infrastructure and assets, planning for the suburb and stormwater management.

Representatives from Transport for NSW will also be in the room, along with staff from Reconstruction NSW.

Wollongong City Council Manager Infrastructure Strategy and Planning Nathan McBriarty said the drop-in session meant residents could give their input as the council’s recovery efforts unrolled.

“This is a chance to talk directly with council staff as we work through the repair and rebuilding phase after this storm event,” he said.

“We’ve been having a number of direct conversations with community members already, but the purpose of this day is to provide a space where people can come in at a time that suits them between 12:30 and 6:30 pm and speak to staff.

“We know that these one-on-one conversations can be really invaluable, and we look forward to this opportunity to talk directly with these residents.’”

READ ALSO ‘They came to our rescue’: Businesses, community rally around Shell’s Austinmer after flood devastation

In the early hours of Saturday 6 April, residences and businesses were hit with the peak of rising flood activity forecasted for the Illawarra.

Parts of the community are still struggling to recover from the damage left in its wake.

The Let’s Talk sessions are part of broader recovery efforts by the council as the council grapples with prioritisation.

“At council we’re faced with the challenge of working through an extensive list of impacted infrastructure and looking at how we can prioritise rebuilding and repairing those parts of our city that were significantly impacted by the rain and storm event,” Cr Bradbery said.

“We need to do this, while also managing council’s business as usual. It’s a balancing act to use our limited resources for the greatest immediate benefit.”

The Let’s Chat community drop-in session takes place this Friday 7 June from 12:30 to 6:30 pm at Thirroul Community Centre & Library, 352/358 Lawrence Hargrave Drive, Thirroul.

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