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Plan to improve flood warnings

The Victorian Government plans to improve warning systems following major floods in the past two years.

January 10, 2013 4:09am

Late in December, Water Minister Peter Walsh released the Victorian Government’s plan to improve flood warning systems across the state, noting that several actions were already under way.

The plan is part of the government’s response to 31 recommendations relating to water issues in the Review of the 2010-11 Flood Warnings and Response led by Neil Comrie.

Mr Walsh said the plan supported the Coalition’s goal to help Victorians to be prepared for and respond to emergencies such as flood events and empower communities to recover quickly.

‘‘This implementation plan will see flood planning become more integrated and better aligned with other emergency management planning to ensure better co-ordination at state, regional and local levels,’’ Mr Walsh said.

The plan builds on a number of initiatives already in place to strengthen communities against flooding impacts.

‘‘The government immediately addressed gaps identified in the flood warning system after the 2010-11 floods, as part of $1.56billion spent on the immediate flood response,’’ Mr Walsh said.

He said 15 of 25 flood risk studies in key flood-prone communities are already being done, at a cost of $4.5million over four years.

Upgraded flood warning systems are also happening, with 38 completed.

Flood studies for Numurkah, Dunolly, Castlemaine and surrounds would enhance flood intelligence and consider a range of potential flood mitigation options, Mr Walsh said.

‘‘The government values the skills and knowledge of regional Victorians and will be opening up opportunities for locals to shape flood warning systems in their town.’’

He said the Victorian Government would continue to lobby the Commonwealth to increase its level of contribution and involvement in Victoria’s flood warning system.

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