An update on the Toose Road landslip: edition two

Kempsey Shire Council has committed to providing regular updates to residents and landowners directly impacted by the landslip on Toose Road.

Update to geotechnical advice on the Landslip

As requested by residents, Council arranged a peer review and second opinion of the geotechnical investigation into the slip site.

Regional Geotech Solutions report is attached to this update. The report is based on a detailed field inspection and peer review of the original GHD report.

The report provided by Regional Geotech Solutions confirmed the findings of the initial GHD report and reiterated the complexity and dangers of the slip site.

Transport for NSW inspected the site on Friday 3 May, providing technical expertise, reviewing the two geotech reports and facilitating an update for the Minister for Regional roads.

Recognising the community desire to further investigate the slip and determine repair options, GHD have conducted geophysical surveys of the site using ground penetrating radar. Rock was detected either side of the 90 meter slip face but radar could not detect rock within the penetration depth of 15 metres. This indicates a more significant thickness of dangerous colluvial material than first anticipated.

Formal assessment and investigation of constructing a bridge or similar structure across the slip face has not been carried out and is not currently identified as a short or long term option. Rectification of the slip face remains a potential long term solution, however the initial estimates to undertake this work are costly, complex and require further investigations to confirm feasibility.

Field work will continue in order to ascertain the depth of the colluvial material and whether there is viable presence of rock. Seismic radar will be used in coming weeks as this technology can penetrate a greater depth of material, this process will confirm if a long term solution of repairing the slip face is achievable.

Construction update - short term access

The most viable route identified will connect Fifes Creek Road across to Toose Road via the telecommunications tower.

Construction progress is going smoothly with machinery reaching the tower by Friday 6 May. The focus for w/c 9 May is on the roadway down from the tower.

All available resources are working on this construction including contracted dozer and excavator; 20+ tonne excavator working on removing trees from Fifes Creek Road; Council’s upriver team working with graders and backhoe to install pipes and complete grading. Highly experienced staff and contractors with significant local knowledge are involved in the project

Construction is currently on target to be achieved within the originally advised four to six weeks. Indications are the road could be open in approximately a fortnight, however weather has and is expected to cause delays to the construction works. Further updates will be included in Edition 3.

Council reiterate that this construction is outside the realms of standard engineering practice, regarding designing the road at the same time as its being built.

Council’s engineers are progressively inspecting and assessing the road, the strength of rock and gradient as its being built. Safe access for vehicles larger than 4WD can’t be confirmed until construction is complete.

Acknowledging the impact of additional travel time using this route, the construction will involve replacing five gates on Fifes Creek Road with cattle grids.

Legal agreements to access private land are being finalised, using a private agreement model. Legally this short term access road is for the purpose of accessing identified properties and will not be classed as a public road.

Investigation update – long term access

The agreed options analysis will consider three alternatives – repairing the existing slip; a bridge crossing the Macleay River in an alternative location; and constructing a new over range route.

Each option requires significant detailed analysis to develop cost benefit estimates required to access NSW Government natural disaster funding.

Long term access requires provision of a public access road, essentially replacing the level of access that was previously in place. Restoring public access will also prevent long term impacts on property values of currently isolated land.

Council sought community feedback on the preferred location of a river crossing, should a bridge be determined as the most viable long term option. While identifying Gap Creek as the fairest crossing point for most affected properties the residents strongly advised that a specific meeting is required with all landholders who would potentially be affected by construction of a public road and bridge.

This meeting will be convened in coming weeks.

Stock movements

Council have been advised that landowners have made direct requests to Resilience NSW and Federal Minster regarding the need to get stock to market, and subsequent costs of feed.

Local Member Pat Conaghan sought to escalate the request for ADF support through a meeting with the relevant Minister (Bridget McKenzie). Status of the request is yet to be confirmed.

A request for temporary additional yards at the Tavelling Stock Route (TSR) by Five Day Creek off Towal Road (#R1002042) has been forwarded to Local Land Services on May 11.

Emergency provisions and supply

Resilience NSW has confirmed an air supply drop on Thursday 19 May. Residents are to advise Council’s Community Recovery Officer, Beth Bickford of requirements by COB Friday 13 May.

Beth Bickford: 0413 057 363 | beth.bickford@kempsey.nsw.gov.au

To support weaning of calves, an air supply of large lucerne bales will be achieved by sling. Landholders are required to have mechanical loading available at the collection and delivery sites, with final bale numbers to be confirmed by COB Friday 20 May.
*due to the current demand on resources in Northern NSW, these dates cannot be altered -and further air resupply support is not guaranteed.

Royal Flying Doctor Service medical chest was delivered to Rose Chirva, as the central access point, on Friday 3 May. This resource will be monitored and updated every three months.

An emergency fuel delivery was scheduled for late this week, however, has been cancelled due to refuelling being achieved by residents independently.

Flood recovery assistance

Residents and landowners met with DPI last week and will continue to work through a case management approach to address individual needs. Follow-up appointments are being convened with agencies including Service NSW, funding bodies, Centrelink and Rural Financial Counselling Service.

Department of Primary Industries can assist Primary Producers in sourcing financial support:

  1. $75,000 Grant – You will need latest Business & Personal taxation returns as well as the latest LLS rate notice for your property.

  1. $130,000 Loan – Requires last three years Business & Personal taxation returns as well as the latest rate and LLS notices for your property.

  1. Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy

  1. Please contact Rob Edwards to register:
    Rob Edwards | Recovery Officer
    Rural Recovery Support Service - Mid Coast
    NSW Department of Primary Industries
    Mob 0417443635 | Email rob.edwards@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Service Australia can support impacted workers to connect with financial support via the Farm Household Allowance. Please contact Diane McCafferty to find out more:

Diane McCafferty, A/G Service Centre Manager
Phone 02 6561 4715 (204715) | 0439 431 440

Residents have been advised that Council is not legislatively able to consider rate relief once rates have been issued. A paper will be presented to Councillors for consideration as part of the June Council meeting, prior to the 2022/23 rates being issued.

Issues raised by community

Council continues to progress TSA management within riparian zones along Toose Road. Access to control contractors remains open and continues as a priority location. Management of TSA on private property remains the responsibility of landholders, however, any questions relating to potential additional resources can be directed to Customer Service 6566 3200.

Council is working on creating access for a mobile mechanic to work on several machinery issues raised by multiple residents.

Request to provide Council with email addresses of any affected residents or landowners who aren’t currently on the distributing list for regular updates.

More information

If you have any questions or issues please call Customer Service on 6566 3200 and ask to speak to the Readiness and Recovery Team.

If you are seeking any more information about Council head to www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au

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