Flood study ear­marked for Yar­ra­wonga

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY EMMA PRIOR

Shadow Min­is­ter for Wa­ter Steph Ryan was in Yar­ra­wonga last week to an­nounce the town is set to ben­e­fit from a fur­ther round of flood stud­ies if the Lib­eral Na­tion­als Gov­ern­ment are elected in Novem­ber which will see the improve­ment of com­mu­nity safety.

Ms Ryan was in the area with Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim Mc­Curdy to com­mit to the com­ple­tion of a flood study for Yar­ra­wonga, to look for ways to mit­i­gate flood­ing caused by the lo­cal drainage sys­tem.

Cer­tain ar­eas of Yar­ra­wonga in­clud­ing Haven­stock Drive and Dun­lop Street in par­tic­u­lar of­ten suf­fer, even af­ter rel­a­tively mi­nor amounts of rain­fall.

The 2012 floods were proof of the drainage is­sues with cat­a­strophic con­se­quences to a num­ber of prop­er­ties in Yar­ra­wonga.

This flood study com­mit­ment is part of the Lib­eral Na­tion­als’ $2 mil­lion plan to in­vest in fur­ther flood mit­i­ga­tion stud­ies, if elected.

Ms Ryan and Mr Mc­Curdy said up to 10 flood stud­ies will be done across Vic­to­ria, but a com­mit­ment to Yar­ra­wonga be­ing the first pri­or­ity is tar­geted at this stage.

“As­sess­ing Yar­ra­wonga’s drainage is­sues will be one of the first pri­or­i­ties of this pro­gram,” Mr Mc­Curdy said.

“Yar­ra­wonga’s drainage sys­tem strug­gles with even a small amount of rain and is fail­ing to with­hold win­ter rain­fall amounts.

“Lo­cal res­i­dents aren’t just con­cerned about ma­jor flood­ing. Res­i­dents in Haven­stock Drive and Dun­lop Street find them­selves im­pacted by mi­nor flood­ing af­ter 30mm of rain­fall.”

Moira Shire CEO Mark Hen­der­son said the ma­jor­ity of the shire was prone to flood­ing and a study to pin­point the is­sues was needed.

“The Moira Shire is ba­si­cally a flood plain with large ur­ban drainage is­sues and we also have some dif­fi­cult flood plain is­sues due to ir­ri­ga­tion pan­els, so to pin­point the is­sues and find a so­lu­tion will ben­e­fit the whole shire and we can only wel­come the stud­ies,” Mr Hen­der­son said.

Lo­cal res­i­dent Peter Ross has lived in west Yar­ra­wonga for 23 years and has suf­fered once from ma­jor flood­ing is­sues in 2012 but also agreed the stud­ies would ben­e­fit Yar­ra­wonga as a whole greatly.

“Wher­ever you build hous­ing there is hard drainage and you can’t run a lot of wa­ter off con­crete, that is why cities flood a lot, but we are in the coun­try, there should be some­where for it to go,” Mr Ross said.

“The rail line is the big­gest is­sue over here as it has pipes through it, but it has no hope of cop­ing with any large amount of wa­ter that comes through.

“We have only been prop­erly flooded once, in the 2012 flood but it was like be­ing on the wrong side of the Hume Weir.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful area but even with the sub­di­vi­sion you have the drainage along the bot­tom and the wa­ter runs to the road be­cause there is nowhere for it to go, hope­fully these stud­ies can find a way for the drainage is­sue to be rec­ti­fied.”

Ms Ryan said flood risk stud­ies were a key to bet­ter un­der­stand­ing the na­ture and ex­tent of flood haz­ards across the flood­plain.

“Best prac­tice flood mit­i­ga­tion in­volves as­sess­ing the de­gree to which a risk can be elim­i­nated,” Ms Ryan said.

“An elected Lib­eral Na­tion­als gov­ern­ment will in­vest $2 mil­lion to fund flood mit­i­ga­tion stud­ies to im­prove pre­pared­ness in flood prone com­mu­ni­ties.

“The former Lib­eral Na­tion­als gov­ern­ment pro­vided $4.5 mil­lion for up to 25 flood risk stud­ies in key com­mu­ni­ties fol­low­ing the 2010-11 Vic­to­rian floods that im­pacted more than 100 towns and cov­ered one-fifth of the state in wa­ter.

“These stud­ies have helped pro­vide ef­fec­tive warn­ing and re­sponse plans.

“This time around there will be up to 10 flood stud­ies done across Vic­to­ria but we have pri­ori­tised Yar­ra­wonga first due to the is­sues they have faced in the past that have re­oc­curred on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions.

“Res­i­dents need to be pre­pared to act in the event of a flood and these stud­ies will play a vi­tal role in en­sur­ing that hap­pens.

“There are stud­ies and plans hap­pen­ing in Mel­bourne but noth­ing is hap­pen­ing here, so we are tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity when we can.”

Shadow Min­is­ter for Wa­ter Steph Ryan along­side Mem­ber for Ovens Val­ley Tim Mc­Curdy an­nounc­ing a flood study prom­ise for Yar­ra­wonga if the Lib­eral Na­tion­als are elected in Novem­ber.

A stretch of Haven­stock Drive dur­ing the 2012 floods shows the ex­tent of the flood­wa­ter over the area.

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