Thursday, February 22, 2024

NSW Govt to sink $120k into Bega Valley floodplain plan

A grant submission to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment has borne fruit for Bega Valley Shire Council, with a $120,000 funding commitment to develop an essential floodplain management plan.

The grant, from the NSW Government’s Floodplain Management Program, will subsidise development of the Wolumla Flood Study and Floodplain Risk Management Plan.

Acting Works and Assets Manager, Gary Louie said the study will improve Council’s knowledge of flood risk in a catchment experiencing pressure from development.

“Large volumes of water can flow through the Wolumla Creek catchment during significant weather events, so it’s vital we develop a plan to address potential flood impacts on nearby infrastructure,” Mr Louie said.

“On this catchment there are key assets belonging to Council and the private sector that need to be included in a floodplain risk management plan.

“These include private properties, the Candelo-Bega Road and the Candelo-Wolumla Road, the NBN Co satellite station, and Council’s only landfill site, the Central Waste Facility.”

Mr Louie said an extensive study will inform plans to maintain site and asset continuity in the event of a flood.

“Greater understanding of the catchment and associated floodplain risks will support future land-use infrastructure and emergency management planning.

“This will provide a definitive set of actions to mitigate risk and reduce costly repairs following a flood event.

“Our flood damage repair bill since 2019 is mind boggling; through completion of 709 restoration repairs across 10 declared natural disasters, we have spent $23.5 million. This doesn’t include the 969 emergency repairs to things like potholes, which add an additional $11.4 million to the total bill.

“It’s clear that through understanding how our catchments work, we can effectively target mitigation efforts to key places and processes to better manage the effects of flooding.

“We clearly cannot control the rain, but we can use this money from the NSW Government to protect our community and valuable assets from damage caused by flooding.

“With flood history documented in the Bega Valley as far back as the 1800s, we have a lot of material and interesting stories to study, which will ultimately lead to an achievable plan and better outcomes for people who live and work within the Wolumla Creek catchment.”

Funding for the Wolumla Flood Study and Floodplain Risk Management Plan was provided as part of the NSW Government’s 2022-23 Floodplain Management Program, administered by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

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