Council’s plans for flood mitigation

Council’s plans for flood mitigation were discussed during well attended meetings held at The Rock and Lockhart.

Council general manager, Chris Gallagher, shire engineer, Alan Clark, mayor Peter Yates and councillors Patterson, Hogan, Shultz and Mulholland attended the meetings.

Mayor Peter Yates said 52 homes and business in Lockhart were inundated with water on March 3 and 4.

During the meetings residents voiced their concerns that the warning system to evacuate came too late.

The residents said they want a better system implemented to alert them and allow them to evacuate much earlier.

SES, Rural Fire Service, Police, Ambulance service, Lockhart Fire Brigade, Lions Club, Football Club members were commended for the assistance given during the flooding and in the following weeks with the clean up.

Fifty nine shires in NSW were impacted by the rain with Lockhart one of the first to be declared a disaster area.

It was reported damage sustained to the road network is not as bad as from the 2010 flood with the height and flow of the water also quite different.

The flow was reported as much quicker and above the height of 2010.

It was recognised that the road and railway bridges impacted on the flooding. Residents said that Council should not back off and that pressure needs to be bought on politicians, the RMS and Murray Catchments Authority to fast track action in these areas.

Concerns were also raised as to why nothing had been done in the 18th months since the previous flood to alleviate the problem of storm water entering the town from Mulbrulong, where the railway line acts as a channel for water.

The meeting was told it is impossible to fully protect towns in the Shire and a professional study has to be done to prepare a case to meet the criteria for funding. James McTavish from the SES is to conduct a survey of residents affected.

Laurie Carter said that people were to be commended for filling sand bags and praised the council and their staff for their actions on the night of the flood.

Darryl Wade from the Roadhouse voiced his concern that the town would suffer if action isn’t taken in the area of flood mitigation.

“Do you want a beautiful town or a flooded town?” was the question asked.

The proposed new footbridge over Brookong Creek is about three months away from being replaced even though plans have been drawn up.

This was of concern to residents of Green Street west who perceive problems with access to town if water goes over the spillway on the northern side of the creek.

CentreLink did not widely advertise that they would be in Lockhart to offer assistance.

General Manager, Chris Gallagher has requested they advertise a return visit and urged those eligible for the $1000 per adult and $400 per child grant to apply.

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