Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Blacktown Mayor calls for coordinated, long-term flood plan

Blacktown City Mayor, Tony Bleasdale OAM, has called on all levels of Government to work together on a long-term, sustainable plan to deal with flooding in the local government area.

Recent severe weather event resulted in flooding, road closures and evacuations in some parts of Blacktown City, with the LGA recently declared a natural disaster area for the second time in six months.

“I’m calling for coordinated, long-term flood-mitigation planning involving all three levels of Government, emergency services, the ADF and the housing industry to provide some real solutions to this recurring nightmare for residents and businesses,” said Mayor Bleasdale.

“Whether it’s management of water levels in Warragamba Dam, restricting development, house buy-backs, increased evacuation routes, large-scale water retention schemes, massive engineering works, increasing green space or a combination of all of these – we need the long-term plans now, not for the next 5 or 10 years, but for the next 50 years.

“Flood fatigue is real. It is having a devastating effect on the health and financial wellbeing of far too many residents, businesses and our volunteers.”

The Mayor also paid tribute to the efforts of emergency services crews in the wake of recent flooding.

“A huge thank you goes out to our volunteers, emergency services workers and our own Council crews for their efforts during the second major flooding event to hit our City in a matter of months,” he said.

“We’ve had our local SES and RFS crews working around the clock, as well as SES crews from other areas, Australian Defence Force personnel, surf lifesavers, and Fire and Rescue crews all come together in this time of crisis.

“Council crews have been working around the clock on our roads and other areas of flood damage to assist our affected residents and businesses.

“My heart goes out to those people who have been affected, especially those who have experienced their third major flood in 18 months.”

He said Council had worked with Resilience NSW and Riverstone Neighbourhood Centre to open a Recovery Assistance Point in Riverstone yesterday and is also providing a free clean-up service in flood-affected areas.

The Mayor says more than 23 tonnes of waste was picked up on the first day of the free clean-up service.

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