Storm Damage Repairs Update

Published on Thursday, 15 July 2021 at 11:21:42 AM


As fronts continue to sweep across the South Coast, reports of damage to roads and infrastructure are piling up in the Shire of Denmark.

The storm event in July and subsequent rains have caused issues and safety hazards across the Shire’s road network as the extent of the damage becomes clear.

Work to identify and repair damage is expected to extend into the months ahead as the Shire’s limited resources attend to issues as they arise.

Shire of Denmark Director Assets and Sustainable Development David King said the Shire was taking a careful approach to tackling the massive repair job.

“We acknowledge there are some serious safety concerns throughout the Shire resulting from this storm and we are doing our best to address the issues as quickly as possible,” Mr King said.

“Realistically speaking, it is likely to take a month or two to make all of the major hazards safe, simply due to the sheer volume and spread of the issues across our Shire.”

The Shire will commit its own resources to urgent repair works which can’t wait but beyond those urgent tasks the Shire is looking at a longer process to seek approvals and funding for permanent fixes.

“We know lengthy delays can be frustrating, but we want to assure the community we’re working as quickly as we possibly can, prioritising damage which poses the highest risk to public health and safety, before working through the rest.”

Mr King cautioned community members to exercise caution on the Shire’s roads, with limited traffic management in place due to the extent of damage and stretched resources.

“In most cases we have traffic cones and signage in place to delineate damaged areas of road but new issues continue to pop up as water levels change and rain events continue so we encourage community members to report any damage which has not been identified,” Mr King said.

The damage to the Shire’s road network comes almost a year on from the storm event in August 2020 which caused significant damage to Mount Shadforth Road.

“The patience our community has exercised while we’ve waited for funding to come through from the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements Western Australia (DRFAWA) for the Mount Shadforth repair project is a good example of the sort of timelines we’ll likely be looking at for a number of the issues around our Shire,” Mr King said.

“We expect to be able to get the Mount Shadforth repair project underway by the end of November, which will be nearly 18 months on from the event which caused the damage.”

“Obviously protracted timelines for repairs are a downside, but the benefit for our ratepayers is we have a good chance of getting a lot of the repair work fully funded.

"At the end of the day, the clean-up and repair process is going to require patience from all of us and we thank the community for their understanding.”

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