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Have your say on Merimbula Lake and Back Lake flood management plans

Sharon Kelley6 November 2020
Aerial view of Merimbula Lake and Back Lake.

Bega Valley Shire Council is holding community information sessions on flood management plans for Merimbula Lake and Back Lake. Photo: Supplied.

Bega Valley Shire Council will hold two COVIDSafe community information sessions on the draft Merimbula Lake and Back Lake Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan on Tuesday, 10 November, and Wednesday, 11 November.

Council has called for community input and comment as part of the finalisation of the draft study and plan, which, once finalised, will be presented to councillors for consideration and endorsement as the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan for the relevant catchments.

Submissions can be made in person, online, by email or by mail.

Community information sessions will be held at the Bega Valley Regional Learning Centre in Merimbula. Registrations are not required, however social distancing requirements limit venue attendance to 20 people at any one time, including staff.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s civil assets superintendent Gary Louie said the proposed flood management measures and strategies in the draft plan include a mixture of flood culvert installations and road upgrades; building and development controls for future development on flood-prone land; and emergency response measures.

“The plan falls under the state government’s Floodplain Risk Management Guidelines program designed to eliminate the ad-hoc decision making process which can contribute to present day flooding problems,” he said.

The initial Flood Study in 2017 was undertaken for the Merimbula Lake and Back Lake catchments to assess existing flood behaviour and identify the scale and extent of the existing flood hazard.

The subsequent draft Floodplain Risk Management Study was undertaken for the Merimbula Lake and Back Lake catchments to assess the existing flood risks arising from the Flood Study, and it outlines a range of potential options for managing the identified flood risk.

The final flood management measures and strategies include a mixture of flood modification options using groundworks such as proposed culvert installations and proposed road upgrades; property modification options using planning controls such as building and development controls for future development in flood prone land, floodproofing guidelines or potential voluntary purchase schemes; and emergency response measures such as improved information for response planning, increased community education and awareness, data collection strategies and installation of flood warning infrastructure.

Mr Louie said letters have been sent to local residents informing them of the information sessions and the chance to comment.

The public exhibition period runs from Saturday, 31 October, through to Sunday, 29 November, 2020.

For more information on the draft Merimbula Lake and Back Lake Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, visit Bega Valley Shire Council’s project page, and its Have Your Say page.

The first community consultation session will be held on Tuesday, 10 November from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm, and the second session will be on Wednesday, 11 November from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

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