Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

$510,000 to jump-start mitigation plan

Water Minister Peter Walsh has announced funding for flood mitigation work to help protect the Rochester district from future emergencies.

IVY WISE May 17, 2014 3:10am

Member for Rodney Paul Weller (left) gives Water Minister Peter Walsh a tour of a flood area near Rochester. Photo: Laura Buckley

A $510,000 windfall to deliver the first stage of Rochester’s flood mitigation plan will help the town rebuild from the 2010-2011 floods and better prepare for future disasters.

Announcing the funding in Rochester on Saturday, Water Minister Peter Walsh said stage one of the plan included selecting and designing the most effective flood mitigation works and upgrading local flood gauges.

‘‘Rochester was hit by floods three times between November 2010 and February 2011,’’ Mr Walsh said.

‘‘The January 2011 flood affected almost 1000 properties and was the town’s largest flood on record.

‘‘Rochester’s flood management plan funded by the Coalition Government in 2011 identified a range of preliminary options to reduce the impact of floods on the community, including levees, floodways and waterway works and improved flood warning gauges.’’

Mr Walsh said the funding would allow Rochester’s flood gauges to be upgraded and work to start on selecting and designing the most effective flood mitigation works for the town.

‘‘It is important we do the proper detailed planning and design before any works begin, to ensure the Rochester community receives the best possible result,’’ he said.

The government is providing $276,720 to the works through the FloodZoom program, along with $119,280 from the Federal Government’s Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme and $114,000 from Campaspe Shire Council.

Campaspe Shire Rochester ward councillor Leigh Wilson said the primary outcome of the funding would be the installation of telemetered flood depth gauges in the river and electronic transfer of water height information to the Bureau of Meteorology.

‘‘This will greatly reduce the time that the data takes to get to the BOM and greatly increase warning times,’’ Cr Wilson said.

‘‘This will mean peace of mind so far as greater warnings with a good level of accuracy, which is something the community wanted.’’

The funding includes $80,000 for flood warning, $220,000 for planning and design (formal levee) and $210,000 for the assessment of structural works (stage one).

‘‘Some on-ground works will be able to take place, which will allow us to do further investigations for more works to create better mitigation of flooding,’’ Cr Wilson said.

‘‘More funds will be needed... but this is sufficient to get things started.’’

Minister visits water treatment plant: report page 5.

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