Hi my name is Craig Deveson a resident of Tumbulgum on the Tweed River NNSW & I have seen a number of floods in the last 15 years on the Tweed River at Tumbulgum. Each flood is different; however, there is more community suffering than needs to be. We need to lift the investment in resilience & preparedness in the future.
There have been many improvements in our area & the community help in the cleanup has been fantastic & luckily no loss of life in the area this time.
In this case, we were so grateful that Joel Parkinson & Mick Fanning & Friends could lend a hand. Their help on the Jetskis was unbelievable. (Photos of David Stringer and myself being rescued.) They made the correct decision that the SES was overloaded and moved to Lismore & their help was so welcome and appreciated.
We can't be in this situation again. It was luck & good fortune this help came when it did. It's not the SES's fault; however, we need to make some changes as a community.
Other problems with this flood were the reporting via BOM and the frequency of the data updates and warnings. The updates were always behind, giving the community a false sense of security. Why can't river level data be published to the web live? Why did the river gauge fail?
Why did we lose power & the internet - the first time ever? Why has it taken so long to restore the Internet and bring back adequate mobile services?
Facebook has been brilliant as an information hub for the community, but when the internet is down or very poor - things are more complicated than they should be.
What is needed to get one of the entry/exits roads lifted higher so that there is more time to move people & equipment out or get them back in sooner following the peak.? Can we pay for a report to get gov't funding to fix?
Why have some Highway changes to the M1 caused more water to bank up, creating higher flood levels in the last 2 floods. Extra drainage could solve this. How do we get this fixed?
We would like to establish a fund to purchase or co-purchase with gov funding local equipment such as Boat, Jetski, generators, & other items that are always available in the area. These items would need to be housed in a high area & community training & maintenance would need to be provided.
We would like to fund or co-fund improvements to the information delivery on floodwater levels.
We would like to lobby NBN to install a generator around key towers or have a cutover to satalite in these circumstances. The Elon Musk one sounds like a great option.
Can we trial new technology & approaches to be more resilient in the future?
The funds will be managed and distributed via a local charity with the charter of Flood Resilience & Preparedness for the local area.