The recent official marking of the completion of Upper Shephards Lane Detention Basin – the fourth and final major detention basin in Council’s 2009 Flood Mitigation Programme – was an enjoyable and important occasion.
The four basins were mainly funded by a special rate variation brought in specifically for their construction after the 2009 flood and grants provided by the state and federal governments.
All four will play a significant role in helping contain and slow down any future stormwaters in and around the Coffs Creek catchment.
However, the extensive media coverage of that milestone may have left you thinking that all the flood works we ever planned to do have now been completed. So I wanted to assure you that flood works are ongoing in a number of locations across the local government area.
As well as the Coffs Creek strategy, Council has completed flood studies for Woolgoolga Creek, Upper Orara and Boambee Newports Creek and a flood study has also begun for Middle Creek.
The flood studies and floodplain risk management studies and plans provide Council with sound flood information and data to use in the development of strategic documents and planning controls.
The advantages to both Council and the community in having the floodplain management studies and plans in place are:
- Having a proper basis for managing and using flood prone land to provide a balance between danger to personal safety and economic losses due to flooding, and social, ecological and cultural interests;
- Optimising community infrastructure;
- Minimising personal danger to residents, visitors and emergency response personnel and community flood damage;
- Strategically assessing catchments so that the impacts of development on flooding and flooding on development can be effectively considered.
There are a number of other catchments and areas where we need to improve our current flood information. To date, we have prioritised these remaining catchments – taking into consideration existing and potential urban development and the nature of local flood problems. Funding for these is dependent on future grant funding and resources, but we are working through a programme to prepare future flood studies and plans, where needed, for the whole local government area.