Creek action need

March 14, 2018

A petition made by Vicki and Peter Chapman to get Whiteheads Creek cleaned out has been signed by almost 1,300 people.

A petition by Seymour locals demanding Whiteheads Creek be cleaned out has received almost 1300 signatures in a matter of weeks.

Vicki and Peter Chapman have been hard at work talking to people around town about the risk posed to the residents of Seymour from the build up of sediment, trees and debris in the creek.

After setting themselves what they thought was a lofty goal of 1000 signatures, Ms Chapman said they had been blown away by the strong response so far.

‘‘Someone who’s been involved with petitions before said to us that with a town this size, we’d be lucky to get 500, so to get over 1000, we’re stoked,’’ she said.

‘‘I think it helps that we’re just average citizens — we’re not landowners or businesspeople, we’re not pushing our own barrow. We are in the flood zone, and therefore the creek is a concern, as it is to most people who aren’t on the hill.

‘‘We just did it out of seeing the injustice of it all, and the people have finally got a voice together and are standing up, which is fantastic.’’

But while canvassing for signatures to get the creek cleaned out Ms Chapman said the couple picked up on two other major issues for local residents.

Aside from the sediment and debris in Whiteheads Creek, Vicki said people also showed concern for the state of the drains, which allow the water to pass through Seymour, and also the proposed levee bank.

‘‘Something has got to be done,’’ Ms Chapman said.

‘‘We’re just the cog that put it altogether — it’s the people who are answering it.

‘‘But the fight isn’t over. We’ve got those three main issues, and with Council bringing up the structure plan very shortly ... it’s very important to remember in the next month or so the structure plan will be up for the people to have a look at again.

‘‘It’s important they understand the seriousness of looking at it and speaking up — if they don’t want a levee bank or they want something done with the creek, then they need to speak up.’’

However, a Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority spokeswoman recently told The Telegraph, removing vegetation from the creek won’t be a magic bullet for the flood risk in Seymour.

‘‘During a major flood, most of the water is carried on the floodplains (either side of the waterway) rather than the creek, so removal of native vegetation will have little effect,’’ she said.

‘‘Given the geography of Whiteheads Creek and surrounds, floodwater will always spread across the floodplain during a major flood.’’

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