Flood recovery underway

Flood recovery works, including the removal of flood debris, have started along the Goobarragandra River.

The project is the first of its kind for the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) which, in partnership with local councils, will engage in flood recovery works across the catchment in 2013.

The works program is the outcome of a flood damage assessment commissioned by Murrumbidgee CMA which examined the impact of flood damage across the catchment that caused widespread devastation in March last year.

In preparing the assessment, representatives from Sinclair Knight Merz, Local Government and Murrumbidgee CMA visited farmers and landholders in affected areas including Tumut, the Yass Valley and Wagga Wagga.

In total 99 site visits were conducted on 50 properties.

Murrumbidgee CMA General Manager John Francis said that there was considerable interest in the assessment from affected farmers and landholders.

“Farmers and landholders were exceptionally cooperative during site visits,” Mr Francis said.

“Murrumbidgee CMA appreciates that recovery efforts from natural disasters especially floods take a considerable amount of time and we would like to thank all farmers and landholders involved in the assessment process for their patience.”

Tumut Shire Council General Manager Bob Stewart said that the first priority is to ensure future threats from potential flooding events are minimised.

“Together with Murrumbidgee CMA, Tumut Shire Council will utilise limited funding assistance available for emergency protection measures to commence project works by remediating significantly affected areas.

“Working with our project partners will also provide specialist expertise to farmers and landholders in the middle Goobarragandra”, said Mr Stewart.

Mrs Jenny Oliver, a Goobarragandra landholder, said she was pleased to see vital river protection works being implemented by both the Murrumbidgee CMA and Tumut Shire Council.

“The floods last year left a wake of devastation and this project will significantly assist to mitigate damage from future flooding,” Ms Oliver said. “In particular it will help to reduce further river bank erosion, a serious problem which leads to considerable environmental degradation and poses problems for water users downstream.

The project officially commenced on Monday. In the future it is envisaged that works will continue beyond the middle Goobarragandra area, extending to the upper Goobarragandra, Gilmore Creek, and onto properties within the Yass Valley and Wagga Wagga districts.

The program is funded by the state and federal governments.