Flood study earmarked for Yarrawonga
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.