Recent heavy rain on the NSW Far South Coast has only served to highlight the need for better planning to reduce the impact of future floods, according to Bega Valley Shire Council.
Council is currently seeking input from the local community on its draft flood study findings for the catchment areas of the Pambula River, Pambula Lake and Yowaka River, and surrounding areas.
The public exhibition phase of the draft study is the result of significant input from the community through the initial consultation phase in 2019, and detailed site inspections by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) staff and specialist consultants.
Council’s civil assets superintendent Gary Louie said recent rainfall, storms and flooding were a reminder of the potential risk floodwaters pose to the community and its impact on private property and infrastructure.
“We’re keen to gather community feedback on the draft flood study findings and recommendations, including whether they align with the community’s experiences during recent events,” he said.
“Once complete, the flood study will allow council and the community to confirm what areas of each catchment are prone to inundation and flood risk, where flood risk may be unacceptably high, or where various mitigation measures may need to be implemented.
“It will also assist other stakeholders, such as the SES [State Emergency Service], to undertake appropriate planning to minimise the potential impact of flooding on the community.
“The final information will support improved strategic asset, land-use and emergency response planning the community and other stakeholders will benefit from.”
A key component of the public exhibition period will be three community drop-in sessions planned for Pambula Town Hall in April.
- Wednesday 28 April, between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm
- Thursday 29 April, between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm
- Thursday 29 April, between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
Mr Louie said the sessions would include a project presentation and provide an opportunity for the public to ask questions, provide comments and gain assistance with the preparation of detailed written submissions.
“All community feedback gathered from the public exhibition period will inform the preparation of the final documents,” he said.
“In meeting the objectives of the NSW Government’s Flood Prone Land Policy, the study will establish the basis for subsequent floodplain management activities.”
The draft flood study can be viewed on Bega Valley Shire Council’s Have Your Say page and hard copies are available from the council offices in Zingel Place, Bega, and at libraries in Bega, Eden, Tura and Bermagui.
Submissions about the draft report can be made until 2 May, 2021.