Push to clean up privately-owned areas of Stonequarry Creek

Councillor Simon Landow wants the council and volunteers cto use two clean up days to remove the debris from the private property. Picture: Simon Landow

Councillor Simon Landow wants the council and volunteers cto use two clean up days to remove the debris from the private property. Picture: Simon Landow

Wollondilly Council has completed its maintenance work of Stonequarry Creek in Picton and it wants to help the private landowners clean up their sections of the creek too.

The creek was significantly damaged in a heavy storm and flood in June last year.

At the last council meeting, councillor Michael Banasik asked the council to look at ways to help private landowners remove the rubbish and debris from their properties which had not been cleared since the storm.

“On one of the properties there is a fridge and a portable toilet,” Cr Banasik said.

“If another storm occurs then that debris will disrupt the flow of water.

“We need to look at ways to talk to residents and state government agencies to remove the debris.”

The notice of motion was supported by all the councillors with councillor Matt Gould saying the clean up was in the community’s best interest.

Councillor Landow said the council previously ran a successful volunteer clean up day in November and two more were scheduled for this year.

“The council and volunteers can potentially use those two clean up days to remove the debris from the private property, if can get permission from the land owners,” he said.

“We need to use those volunteer days to our advantage.”

Infrastructure and environment director Michael Malone said the council had written to all property owners along Stonequarry Creek reminding them of their responsibilities for maintaining the creek and offered them maintenance advice if required.

Mr Malone said to date the council had undertaken all maintenance work on its land using its budget resources.

The council is waiting on a detailed work plan from the Soil Conservation Service as part of the Flood Remediation Report.

“Once the council receives the report, it will work with the private landholders to see that priority works are implemented,” Mr Malone said.

He said vegetation work around the Argyle Street bridge was planned as part of scheduled maintenance work of the bridge.

“Some additional vegetation and storm debris removal works behind Victoria Oval still need to be completed,” Mr Malone said.

Since the June storm the council removed large fallen trees immediately upstream of Argyle Street bridge and the viaduct in order to prevent physical damage to assets and reduce risk of debris dams forming.

Mr Malone said the council had removed several large items, including a shipping container, car, skip bin and fridge with several items still awaiting removal due to logistical challenges.

A full inspection of Stonequarry and Racecourse creeks was done to map the problem areas in preparation for a Flood Remediation Report.

Mr Malone said general rubbish and fine organic flood debris were cleaned up and the lower branches of some trees on the creek were removed to decrease the chance of debris becoming lodged in the trees during higher water flows.

“The council also removed woody flood debris and small woody weed regrowth from previous clearing programs,” he said.

Native grasses were planted to stablise the bank and the pipe culvert under Barkers Lodge Road was also cleaned.

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