Thursday, July 25, 2024

Flood insurance cover cuts sweep Mildura park plans

Mildura Rural City Councillors will this week consider a new location for the proposed Riverfront Adventure Park in the wake of this year’s Murray River flood event.

The Council says cuts to insurance coverage of up to 90% following the Victorian flood event have left little option but to consider a new location.

Councillors will this week consider a recommendation to establish the adventure park at Jaycee Park, rather than its original location in the Nowingi Place precinct.

Council’s Acting General Manager Healthy Communities, Thomas Stevenson said the new location would ensure continued activation of Mildura’s thriving riverfront precinct, while minimising financial and community infrastructure risk.

“It was great to see the overwhelmingly positive response from our community when we first announced plans for the Riverfront Adventure Park,” Mr Stevenson said.

“At the time we first announced plans for the park, there was more than adequate flood insurance coverage for such a major project, however there have been massive unforeseen changes in the insurance sector resulting from Victoria’s Murray River flood event.

“We’ve seen flood insurance coverage for impacted regional Victorian Councils slashed from $20,000,000 to just $2,000,000.  

“Given this dramatic reduction in insurance coverage, and the significantly heightened financial risk, it makes sense to look for other, more suitable locations along our riverfront to establish the park.”

Mr Stevenson said Jaycee Park was the logical choice given it was less exposed to high river levels, evidenced by the fact it escaped inundation during this year’s near-record Murray River flood event.

“Aside from the significantly reduced financial risk, establishing the park on a site less likely to be inundated during flooding would allow more of our riverfront precinct to remain activated during similar future flood events,” he said.  

“In addition, establishing the adventure park at Jaycee Park would still align with our broader master plan for the riverfront in terms of further activation, as well as adding further value to this popular precinct.”

Mr Stevenson said ensuring the Nowingi Place precinct remained a thriving hub of activity among locals and visitors was a critical consideration.

“The Nowingi Place precinct, featuring the soundshell, Water Play Park and playground area, is also one of our riverfront’s major drawcards, particularly as a major regional events space, illustrated by the upcoming Red Hot Summer Tour stop in our region,” he said.

“It’s therefore imperative we continue to make improvements to this precinct.”

Potential improvements already identified include better pedestrian connectivity between the Water Play Park and the Nowingi Place playground area, improvements to high-traffic grassed areas, more shade structures and upgrades to the existing playground.

Council will consider the matter at this week’s Ordinary Council Meeting.

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