Levee no silver bullet

December 15, 2017

Flash Flooding on Wednesday around Seymour, Nagambie and Longwood. Whitehead Creek, Seymour.

We are in complete agreement that the residents of Seymour deserve to be protected from any future flooding of Whiteheads Creek.

Unfortunately the proposed levee will fail to prevent a recurrence of the damage to homes on the south side of the railway line, at Wimble St, as seen in the flood of 1973.

In fact when there is a repeat of these flood levels, the documented placement of the levee would again result in 600mm of water flowing over the railway line into the town centre inundating St Mary’s School, Seymour Hospital and adjacent aged care facilities and many private residences.

This would create flood waters that would become trapped inside the levee bank and would rely upon the efficiency of the proposed 14 pump stations.

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority states they no longer regard the flooding of Whiteheads Creek as a concern and have therefore disregarded its inclusion in the proposed levee.

As a result of community consultations, we have found Whiteheads Creek to be the major source of concern to current residents of Seymour.

Jack, I appreciate you are looking at it from a business perspective and a levee would affect you differently to myself.

I live within the affected zone certainly, but I think it is important to state here that although there are many residents not living under the direct influence of the levee, it will indeed affect us all.

Keeping in mind that the original costings began at $9million and have now shifted to $17million and climbing. In the light of this it is highly unlikely that rates will only be increased for those supposedly benefiting from the levee.

I think we also need to be concerned that the levee will not alter the current flood zoning because residents would still need to build to flood level recommendations or face the personal insurance policy consequences, not to mention the ongoing levee maintenance costs. Also the structure plan is carefully worded to not commit to any changes it would bring.

For any proposed levee bank Whiteheads Creek is a pivotal flooding problem that would need to be addressed. Then and only then could any levee bank be considered?

— Peter Chapman, Seymour

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