Council workers unblock the mouth of Mooball Creek in 2018.
Council workers unblock the mouth of Mooball Creek in 2018.

Council commits almost $300k to project, but there’s a catch

YEARS of community campaigning might all be for nothing if the NSW Government does not match a Tweed council funding commitment.

Tweed Shire Councillors resolved to commit $290,000 towards repairing the Mooball Creek training walls at Pottsville on the condition matching funding be secured from NSW Crown Lands.

The funding commitment was made at a council meeting last Thursday after the poor conditions of the walls is believed to be contributing to the silting up of the creek mouth.

The Mooball Creek training walls were built in the 1970s to help manage the flood plain.

However, they have been severely damaged by heavy seas across the years and are now missing sections of crest with many rocks lost to coastal sands.

Other factors contributing to the dumping of sand at the creek mouth which prevents upstream waters flowing to the ocean includes the flow of the creek and sand moved by ocean swells.

In 2018, the council opened the creek mouth after it became blocked with sand.

At the time, heavy rain raised further concerns about the possibility of flooding affecting upstream agricultural lands and Pottsville waterfront residential property if the creek mouth remained blocked.

In 2019, the council was unsuccessful in its application to fix the issue under the State Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund.

It has now been revealed that while walls are built on council-managed Crown Land, they are a council flood plain asset.

Roads and stormwater manager Danny Rose said if the council could not secure matching funds from Crown Lands, it would continue to seek grant funding.

"But the repair cannot be done solely from the council's flood plain asset management budget," he said.

Deputy mayor Chris Cherry said the Pottsville community had long campaigned for the repairs.

"Hopefully the NSW Government will green light the project, by contributing money from Crown Lands, and we can see this work come to fruition before we get any more major flooding.

"If we do secure this additional funding we will consult with the community on the best way to carry out these works for a successful long-term outcome for our residents," Cr Cherry said.