It’s almost five months since Cyclone Marcus had a significant effect on Darwin and its surrounds and although there has been a lot happening with the recovery clean up and repairs across the region, there is still much to do.
The total cost of the cyclone response and recovery to City of Darwin is estimated to be approximately $15 million. Council is looking to recover as much of the costs as possible through TIO and the Northern Territory Government to access funds from the National Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). The total costs are spread across many areas.
There were over 200 ground and operation crews working every day at the height of cyclone response. There has been 400 kilometres of verges cleared including the removal of 800 trees. Over 10,000 trees fell on council land and open spaces and approximately 7,000 tonnes of cyclone green waste and stumps were cleared in the two months post cyclone and passed through the Shoal Bay Waste Management facility. This is 5,000 more tonnes than the same period last year.
Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis said that the clean-up has been a joint effort by Council staff, contractors, the Australian Defence Force, Correctional Services personnel and the community.
“We are very grateful for the assistance we have received following the cyclone and even though a lot of work has been done there is still a lot of damage that remains evident with fallen trees and tree stumps across our open spaces, playgrounds that are still in need of repair and areas where trees need to be replanted.
“Council staff will be working on the cyclone recovery for many months to come, so we do ask members of the community to be patient as we undertake our recovery works.
“I’d also like to extend my thanks to TIO. Council staff are working closely with TIO and we are grateful to them for their assistance in being able to restore some of our parklands and infrastructure as quickly as possible whilst also assisting other individual customer claims,” said the Lord Mayor.
TIO Chief Executive Officer Darryl Madden said: “TIO have provided significant support to City of Darwin, one of our major commercial clients.
“Our trades have been working with council to clear debris, fallen trees and restore parklands and other council infrastructure to ensure the city is able to recover as quickly as possible. The team have done a fantastic job in balancing the needs of the community as a whole whilst attending to individual customers.”
Some of the worst affected cyclone areas where Council responded to the most jobs include Anula, Wulagi, Malak and Karama.
The Shoal Bay Waste Management Facility has dealt with huge amounts of green waste and mulch. On the day after the cyclone 1,000 more domestic users than usual came through Shoal Bay, with the line-up of vehicles extending out to Vanderlin Drive.
A total of 21 playgrounds were damaged during the cyclone with five playgrounds requiring complete replacement of play equipment. These playgrounds will be repaired and replaced through insurance and the community will be informed suburb by suburb as these works get underway.
Council has 212 parks and 22 parks still have some significant isolated hazards that require work. A further 30 parks have cyclone recovery works ongoing. There are signs up in areas where hazards remain to remind the community that the clean-up is not finished and to be aware that works are ongoing in a number of our parks and open spaces. So, if you are planning to hold an event in a park contact Council to discuss your permit, which is free of charge and you can find out if any works are happening in the area you are planning your event.
Please be reminded that if you do see a cyclone related hazard please report it to council. Don’t assume all issues have been reported.
Other repair works that are still ongoing include damage to irrigation systems. Dust suppression measures are being undertaken through the worst affected areas to keep dust to a minimum.
A Tree Establishment Advisory Committee has been established that will provide recommendations on what new trees need to be planted and where. Members of the community are asked not to plant trees on Council land until a plan has been established. Council looks forward to working with the community on the plan for replanting.