Residents assured water safe for drinking

Richmond Valley residents may have recently noticed discoloured water coming through their taps. The decolourisation is harmless and is mainly due to the levels of iron and manganese in the water. The issue is only associated with the appearance of the water, it does not affect the quality. Richmond Valley Council is assuring residents it continues to provide high-quality drinking water which consistently meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and regulatory requirements. As per the guidelines, chlorine is being used as a steriliser, adding to the discolouration. A comprehensive flushing program is currently being undertaken by Council to help push the chlorine through the reticulation system. The water is, and will, remain safe for use at all times.

Council joins fight for more library funding

Richmond Valley Council is supporting a State-wide day of action on 5 December to draw attention to the urgent need for increased library funding at the local level. Local supporters of the Richmond-Upper Clarence Library network, including Friends of the Library and library users, are encouraged to join the campaign to lobby State Members of Parliament.

Council’s General Manager John Walker said there had been widespread support by NSW councils for the NSW Library Funding Campaign, which was being coordinated by the NSW Public Libraries Association, with input from Local Government NSW and the Australian Library and Information Association. Mr Walker said the burden of funding libraries fell mostly on the shoulders of local government. He said while Council acknowledged the recent NSW Budget delivered a $15 million Infrastructure Public Library Grant program over four years from 2014/2015 to 2017/2018, it only reinstated the grant funding program to the level it was in 2005/2006. He said Council believed a fixed-term recurrent program was needed to provide the certainty required for this all-important annual grants program.

“There is currently a high degree of uncertainty as to the level of ongoing funding for public libraries in NSW,” Mr Walker said. “The intent of the NSW Library Act in 1939 was for equal funding from State and local governments to provide library services. Since that time local government has increasingly carried the funding burden and the situation has deteriorated significantly over the past few decades. Without urgent action from local government and NSW Public Library Associations, this situation will continue and local councils will once again be forced to pick up the funding shortfall.”

Mr Walker said the Richmond-Upper Clarence Library network provided an important service to our communities, through events such as exhibitions, story time for kids, information technology programs for seniors, and stimulating holiday activities for teenagers and the younger members of our community.

Media Release: Friday, 21 November 2014

$1.8 million indoor sports complex step closer

THE construction of a multi-purpose, modern indoor sporting complex in Casino is a step closer today following Richmond Valley Council’s decision to accept a tender from AGS All Steel Garages and Sheds.

The $1.8 million complex is to be built at Casino’s Colley Park, with pre-construction site works to start before Christmas. The project is expected to take up to six months to complete.

The project is a two-court stadium and includes facilities for netball, basketball and soccer. It can and will be used for a range of other sports, some of which are not possible in Casino at present, and community activities. The stadium will have tiered seating, social areas, and shower and toilet facilities, as well as a central curtain to allow multiple uses simultaneously.

Richmond Valley Mayor Ernie Bennett said funds for the complex had been included in the 2014/2015 budget, following the identification of the project as a strategic priority by the community.

Cr Bennett said financial contributions from the Casino basketball and netball associations helped make the project a reality.

He said the complex would lift sporting facilities in the Richmond Valley to a new level.

“It will be a fantastic regional facility. Our sporting groups are excited about it, and we are too,” Cr Bennett said.

“The design of this complex brings together several sports and gives the community the benefits and efficiencies of co-location at the same time as the opportunity to enjoy a modern facility.

“Sport plays a critical role in the wellbeing and cohesion of our communities and this project will ensure the people of the Richmond Valley will a have place where families can have fun and sports stars will be born and nurtured.”

For further information, or a personal comment from Mayor Ernie Bennett, please contact Sharon Davidson on 0419 401 214.



Wednesday 19 November 2014

Heatwave wreaks havoc on Casino bat camp

More than 2000 flying foxes have died from the heatwave which hit the Richmond Valley over the weekend. The 42-degree temperatures yesterday and today played havoc with the flying-fox camp at Casino with thousands of dead bats picked up by Richmond Valley Council officers along the riverbank and in the Hickey and Barker streets area, as well as on the roadway. WIRES volunteers are also on site and are attempting to deal with the young flying foxes in the first instance.

Council’s General Manager John Walker said the extreme heat was a tragedy for the bats. Mr Walker said it was likely Council crews would continue the collection of dead bats over the coming week, which may extend into private property. He said there were still large numbers dead in trees, but out of the reach of Council crews. “Whatever anyone's opinion is either side of the bat debate, no one wishes this sort of tragedy on the bats,” Mr Walker said. “It just goes to show the extent and intensity of the heatwave we had over the weekend. Bats don't know how to deal with the heat.”

Mr Walker said while Council officers were acting as quickly as possible to remove the dead bats, residents were advised to stay clear of the work site until all dead bats were taken away. He said Council crews were having difficulty accessing some areas of the riverbank and unfortunately this meant there may be an unpleasant odour for a while. He said Council’s environmental health officers would continue to monitor the site. “Some areas along the riverbank are inaccessible and the stench from the rotting carcasses will be quite unbearable for some time yet,” Mr Walker said.

Mr Walker said people should avoid the area and not try to help living bats themselves as they could bite and scratch and some carry the lyssavirus. He said parents and teachers needed to be especially vigilant to ensure children remained safe. “Young children could be attracted to the bats on the ground but there could be serious health risks if they pick them up,” Mr Walker said.

Media Release: Sunday, 16 November 2014

Riverbank stabilisation works underway at Evans Head

RICHMOND Valley Council is undertaking remediation works on the southern bank of the Evans River, adjacent to Ocean Drive.

The $1.4 million project, carried out by Shamrock Civil Engineering, is expected to take about five months to complete. Work to be undertaken includes:

  • protect toe of embankment with a gabion basket retaining wall;
  • flatten slope by stripping, filling and compacting;
  • enhance bank stability and beautify with selected native plantings;
  • repair existing scours at uncontrolled stormwater discharge points; and
  • amalgamate six existing stormwater discharge points to two.

Council’s General Manager John Walker said the embankment supporting the footway along Ocean Drive had been showing signs of instability for some time and the problem was exacerbated by the 2012 flood event.

Mr Walker said there were concerns if work was not undertaken, the problem could extend from Kalimna Park to Shark Bay.

He said motorists should proceed with caution when driving through the work site as Ocean Drive was now one way heading into town, and detour options were encouraging traffic heading east to use Riverview Street and Wirraway Avenue, rather than Sunderland Street.

He said a new give way sign had been installed at the intersection of Ocean Drive and Evans Road, and traffic controllers would be onsite to minimise disruptions.

He said pedestrian access would also be provided during all phases of construction.

“The project is part of Council’s commitment to deliver safe, efficient and high-quality infrastructure to the community and businesses of the Richmond Valley area,” Mr Walker said.

“We recognise infrastructure work can be an inconvenience to residents and businesses, and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding while this important work is underway.

“We will endeavour to return Ocean Drive to two-way traffic during the peak two week Christmas-New Year period.”

For further information, or a personal comment from General Manager John Walker, please contact Sharon Davidson on 02 6660 0257 or 0419 401 214.


Media Release:  Friday, 14 November 2014

Council assures residents ‘brown water’ not a health risk

RICHMOND Valley residents may have recently noticed discoloured water coming through their taps. The decolourisation is harmless and is mainly due to the level of manganese in the water. Richmond Valley Council’s General Manager John Walker said the Casino Customer Service Centre had received a number of enquiries from residents regarding the “brown water” coming from their taps. Mr Walker said from time to time our water’s colour or appearance could change, however, the water was, and would, remain safe for use at all times. He said sometimes our water could take on a yellow, rust or brown tint, other times it could appear milky white or blue. He said Council was working to resolve this problem as soon as possible and residents were advised to take care when washing to ensure clothing wasn't damaged due to the discoloration. “Discoloured water occurs occasionally in all water supply systems,” Mr Walker said. “It is most commonly caused when there is a sudden increase or change in direction of water flow through pipes and harmless deposits of accumulated iron and manganese are disturbed and suspended in the water, giving it a discoloured appearance. “Although unsightly, the particles are harmless to health and the water is safe to drink.”

Mr Walker said Council had a comprehensive monitoring and testing program to ensure the safety of drinking water. He said discoloured water was usually only a temporary situation. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause residents and wish to thank everyone for their understanding and cooperation,” Mr Walker said.

Media Release: Friday, 21 November 2014


Richmond Valley Made (Do Not Delete)

The Richmond Valley is full of unique places, people and produce, all shaped (or ‘made’) by the local environment.  This is what makes the Richmond Valley area special.  Let’s shout about it. Let’s celebrate this diversity.  The ‘Richmond Valley Made’ icon allows us to stamp our pride across all that the valley has to offer.