Flood re­port views sought

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - STEPHANIE NEWINGTON

LO­CAL coun­cils have been asked to sub­mit re­sponses to the rec­om­men­da­tions of a re­port from the in­de­pen­dent re­view into Tas­ma­nian floods af­ter dev­as­tat­ing flood­ing in June-July last year.

The re­port by Au­di­torGen­eral Mike Blake was re­leased on June 5 af­ter eight months.

Premier Will Hodg­man said the re­view was gen­er­ally pos­i­tive but there was still room for im­prove­ment.

“Over­all, Mr Blake has found that the re­sponse of all levels of govern­ment, emer­gency ser­vices and the com­mu­nity to the floods was gen­er­ally ro­bust,” Mr Hodg­man said.

“How­ever, with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight it is clear that the over­all re­sponse could be im­proved for fu­ture events in some ar­eas.”

Po­lice, Fire and Emer­gency Man­age­ment Min­is­ter Rene Hid­ding praised emer­gency re­spon­ders and the wider com­mu­nity.

“While this pe­riod in the state’s his­tory was tragic and dev­as­tat­ing, it was also a fine ex­am­ple of the peo­ple of Tas­ma­nia pulling to­gether,” he said.

Key find­ings in­cluded: HY­DRO cloud seed­ing had “no im­pact on pre­cip­i­ta­tion”, with this find­ing hav­ing a “solid sci­en­tific ba­sis”. THE State Govern­ment should un­der­take a com­pre­hen­sive as­sess­ment of flood map­ping in Tas­ma­nia. THE SES align their com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams, shar­ing re­sources with the Tas­ma­nian Fire Ser­vice. THE Govern­ment should es­tab­lish a cen­tral Flood Pol­icy Unit. THE De­part­ment of Premier and Cab­i­net should be­come the stand­ing Re­cov­ery Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity. WHILE it “may be” that the state and lo­cal gov­ern­ments un­der-in­vest in flood mit­i­ga­tion, a lot more work is re­quired to un­der­stand whether mea­sures such as ad­di­tional flood lev­ees are ap­pro­pri­ate.

The re­sponse to the Huonville floods in July was an ex­am­ple of “ef­fec­tive plan­ning, prepa­ra­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion that other flood man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties should learn from”.

Peter Wat­son, 63, of Scotts­dale, Mary All­ford, 75, of La­trobe, and Trevor Foster, 81, of Ouse were killed in last year’s tor­ren­tial floods. Mr Foster’s body has not been found.

Sub­mis­sions were ac­cepted un­til Au­gust 18.

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