Coraki flood rubbish left to pile up
By ANDY PARKS
RUBBISH is piling up in Coraki's streets after the recent floods and Richmond Valley Council is not planning to take it away.
Grenfell Street resident Kerry O'Connor said there had been a metre and a half of water under her house and some furniture, an old lawn mower and her daughter's washing machine were all damaged.
"There's quite a substantial pile," she said. "I managed to get a couple of guys to help me get up as much as I could, but there's only a limited amount of space inside the house."
Ms O'Connor was able to save her washing machine, lawn mower, a small fridge and her wheelie bins, as well as all the petrol and chemicals that were under the house.
She was stuck in her home for six days with her children and was only able to get out once by boat to 'get supplies and stand on some dry ground'.
After the floodwater subsided, Ms O'Connor and her neighbours started piling up their rubbish in the street for collection. She called Richmond Valley Council to find out when they would be collecting it, only to be told that it wouldn't.
Ms O'Connor was told all residents were being offered a free voucher for the tip.
"I'm a 50-year-old woman with a Hyundai car. What good is that?" she said.
Ms O'Connor said that even if she did have the manpower and a trailer to remove the rubbish, she was unable to get her car on to the property because it was still 'too slippery, too muddy and too putrid'.
Ms O'Connor said she had spoken to Cr Norma Thomas, who was unsympathetic. "She said 'you're in a flood zone, you knew it was coming'."
But Ms O'Connor said the houses in her area had only been there for two to three years and were approved by the council.
Richmond Valley Council's manager of environmental health, Peter Cotterill, said he had received a few calls asking what assistance was available. He said 95 per cent were happy with the free access to the tip and that only 5 per cent were unhappy a kerbside clean-up wasn't being offered.
"A lot of resources go into kerbside collections and our resources are tied up doing roadwork, fixing bridges and other infrastructure work," he said.
"It only seems to be an issue in one spot and everyone else is happy with the service that's available."