The Shire has experienced a second major floods of the Hawkesbury River just this year and the fourth in two years. In The Hills, areas such as Sackville North, Lower Portland, Leets Vale and Wisemans Ferry have been significantly impacted again.

Roads such as Pages Wharf Rd at Sackville North and River Rd along many parts have again suffered major damage. Rectification works to some of the damaged sections of Pages Wharf Rd and River Rd caused the 2021 flood were in the process of being designed and nearing commencement. In many areas along the river, these roads provide the only access to residents, and it is critical that they are repaired as soon as practicable possible. Wiseman’s Ferry Park and Kiosk were only days away from being fully restored and opened again. The task starts again.

It is hard to believe the amount of sand that has been washed up during this flood. In some areas there are many metres of sand, making the clean up task even more difficult.

Again, in times of crisis our community come together to help. I would like to again thank our SES and RFS volunteers, emergency services personnel, Australian Defence Force, community volunteers and council officers. Without our volunteers, I don’t know where we would be. I would also like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Carl Hearps who was tragically killed in a helicopter accident at South Maroota whilst on his way to pick up a family who were cut off by floodwaters.

There is still a huge task ahead, from cleaning sand off the roads, to cleaning out houses and cabins. From collection of flood waste to opening of ferries and repairing infrastructure.

I have met with many residents along the river over the past month, particularly following the flood. They are frustrated, upset and tired. The many floods have taken a toll on them. We need to be mindful of the mental health of impacted residents.

There are some issues to work on following this flood, and those of recent times. One of these is improving telecommunications during these events. Not having communication means key warnings are not received nor requests for help able to be sent. The other is floods risk mitigation.

These communities can’t be forgotten, and they certainly won’t be forgotten by me.

Road safety upgrades to Cattai Ridge Road, as part of the Federal and State Government’s Black Spot Program, are due to be completed at the end of August. These works aim to increase safety along the length of road by widening sections and improving road shoulders. I look forward to these important works being completed.

The new footpath between Glenorie Village and Les Shore Oval is nearing completion with only a few minor sections remaining. I am already hearing this footpath is being well utilised by the local community.

I am pleased to see works progressing at Kenthurst Park’s southern field extension project. These works include; increasing the size of the southern sportsfield area to accommodate two full-sized playing fields, installation of a retaining wall with ball screen/safety fencing to the eastern field extent, sportsfield irrigation, drainage and floodlighting compliant with Australian Standards, soft landscape works including tree planting and revegetation works and a new metal gardeners and sports storage shed.

Old Northern Rd continues to present issues with potholes. I am glad to see patching being undertaken, however there are still a significant number of failed sections requiring repair. As Old Northern Rd is a State road, not Council, I have passed on correspondence to Transport for NSW to get some movement on this.

Wisemans Ferry Rd at Little Cattai Creek suffered significant damage during the floods. Rectification works are currently underway. If there is anything I can be of assistance with, please send me an email or give me a call. I am more than happy to assist where I can.

Councillor Mitchell Blue
Mobile 0400 449 324
[email protected]