Council crews working hard to clean up mess from Sunday’s storm

Ipswich City Council crews have been working around the clock to clean up after Sunday’s ferocious storm swept through several suburbs.

Mayor Teresa Harding said the storm had a direct hit on Chuwar and surrounding suburbs about 2pm on Sunday 25 October.

“We had tree surgery staff on site within 30 minutes and contractors on site by 3pm. They cleared trees from roads and attended to immediate safety issues. Work was halted at 9pm that night and restarted at 7am the next day,” she said.

“We had eight tree surgery crews working through four suburbs until 5pm Tuesday. All available internal and contractor resources were also mobilised. Most of the urgent work was completed by the end of the day.”

Mayor Harding said other crews were directed to the area this week to help with clean-up operations and she paid tribute to those council staff who worked extensively to make areas safe and accessible for residents.

“Our teams were in action rapidly and have worked above and beyond to clear debris and make it safe for people. That is always our first priority. We thank them all for their efforts,” she said.

Council quickly approved free disposal of green waste at the Riverview Refuse and Recycling Centre from residential properties affected by the severe storm.

The free green waste disposal continues to be available to Ipswich residents through proof-of-address from the following suburbs: Karalee, Muirlea, Pine Mountain, Chuwar, North Ipswich, Brassall, Tivoli (North Tivoli). It will be available until the end of Monday 2 November.

Mayor Harding said a temporary holding site for large logs and woodchip has been set up at Tivoli sports fields and another site in Bundamba to expedite clean-up.

It was estimated that hundreds of tonnes of debris was picked up and processed by council workers.

“The team has received 120 service requests and has completed about half of them to date. It is anticipated that these non-urgent requests will be resolved by 6 November,” she said.

“There is a triage system in place and crews have concentrated on dangerous trees that could drop limbs or fall over, areas around schools, and roadways. Businesses have also been prioritised and teams have worked through each suburb on a street-by-street basis.

“Work continues in these areas – there are now between 4-6 crews working, as some contractors have been called away to more urgent work in surrounding areas.

“The ongoing rain has hampered access to some parks and open space as we have been unable to put machinery in on the soft ground.

“I just ask residents to be patient. Our crews are working as hard and as fast as they can. There have been reports of crews being abused and that is totally unacceptable.

“They are not there to pick up everyone’s waste. They are there to make it safe and have an extremely important job to do. Council has given many residents access to free green waste disposal and we ask that they take up that service offering.”

Mayor Harding said it was anticipated that the clean-up of council waste will be completed by COB Friday.

“Domestic green waste put out on the kerb cannot be collected by council workers and we implore residents not to dump it on the roadside as that could make the situation dangerous. Please take it to the refuse centre as requested.”

Mayor Harding said Councillors Kate Kunzelmann and Russell Milligan have been busy responding to and supporting residents’ requests this week following the damaging storm last Sunday and thanked residents for their patience.

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