The flood before the flood.

As council awaits the final report before going out to the public to discuss the options available to us on the Brownhill Creek Flood Mitigation plan it is very much in the public focus.

 

I don’t think I have picked up a copy of the Eastern Courier this year without an article warning the councils they need to get it right.

The development of this plan has been running way longer than I have been on Council but has intensified during my tenure.

During my time on Council I have seen us endure the flood of criticism of the State Government accusing us of taking too long to come up with a solution and threatening to take it out of our hands.

I have seen two floods as separate proposals for a dam were opposed by citizens who live in the Brownhill Creek area. This flood developed into a tsunami as these residents marshaled the whole of the state to oppose any damming for a number of reasons.

The next flood was from those residents who opposed having their streets ripped up to allow for boxed culverts to be constructed to divert stormwater away from the creek where it cannot cope in a 100 year flood. This was a proposal I always knew (given my building background) would not work, there not being enough space amongst the trees, the drains and other services in and around those streets bit we had to explore the option.

The last flood and the waters are still flowing is the reaction of property owners who have the creek in the back yards. This flood is continuing unabated with something being said in public on a regular basis in the lead up to the public consultation.

The flood waters will rise when the plan finally is endorsed for public consultation and I don’t expect that now before Council’s April meeting.

Once the public consultation is complete the 5 councils will then endorse the option they believe is the correct option and all 5 councils must agree for a plan to be implemented.

Of course then it will stall indefinitely, assuming we do come to an agreement, because surprise, surprise, surprise (sorry Gomer Pyle) there is NO funding coming from either the State or the Federal Governments. And may I suggest the Councils cannot afford this on their own.

If it goes ahead funded or not Council is bound to be criticized, if it does not go ahead council is bound to be criticized. And you know what…..after all the reading I have done and the information I have absorbed I honestly wonder after all this time and all this research and the public fighting whether we need to do any of it given the hydrology we are now working with.

Will creek clearing (not creek widening, not culverts, no dams) which should have been enforced a long time ago be all that is required.

Of course if nothing happens because of the opposition to each of the proposals and a 100 year flood causes damage to life and property who will be blamed.

 

 

Ideas are still flooding in

The Eastern Courier has yet another storey this week on the Brownhill Creek flood mitigation project and it is entitled “Ideas are still flooding in”. Check the link below for series of questions to the project director Michael Salkeld and his answers.

http://eastern-courier-messenger.whereilive.com.au/news/story/a-flood-of-brown-hill-creek-proposals/

This electronic version comes with a fly over, which although it was nice viewing I am not sure it helps.

It is pleasing to hear him say in answer to a question related to the dam that environmental, heritage and social factors will be taken into consideration when the concept grows from the current concept phase to the detail stage.

This article confirms that a post consultation report is due to be given to each of the affected councils shortly so I guess I can say watch this space.

PS    I am not sure if I have noted this in previous blogs but I am expected Unley’s elected members to visit the site of the proposed dam, and I think that may not be too far away.

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Is this the biggest issue facing 4 Councils this year.

Flood Mitigation in the flood plains of the Brownhill Creek catchment area is back in the news as each of the affected councils  start their new year.

I refer in particular to the article in the Hills & Valley Messenger and refer to the link below.

http://hills-and-valley-messenger.whereilive.com.au/news/story/5500-strong-petition-against-brown-hill-creek-dam/

Unley Council has yet to take a position on the project as we seek to further information to show whether any of the proposals have enough substance to be considered. That includes the plan that has gone out already to public consultation or any of the subsequent 5 (no dam) options being promoted by Mitcham Council at this point in time.

I have already posted re my concerns that any these options do not impact on our tree heritage in a similar vein to the impact claimed in Mitcham by the use of a dam. As an elected member of Unley I need to be convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” about the validity of any of the options before i vote for any particular one to be advanced as the solution.

There is surely a lot of water to flow under the bridge before this one can be solved I suspect.

When the time comes we need to hear the views of the citizens of Unley, both those affected by the flood plains and those who aren’t and we need to take a balanced position so that our Community actually benefits.