North Wagga Residents demand adequate flood protection in accordance with State Policy.
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Council are feeding public misconception that North Wagga floods all the time and therefore residents cannot expect to have money spent on flood protection.
THIS IS MISLEADING…..The truth will shock you!!
Before the Main City Levee was built, North Wagga never suffered serious flooding. Homes in North Wagga were left mostly dry because the village sits on higher ground than the original CBD/Central area, which was constantly inundated. North Wagga just got cut off. That was it and that’s why the original hospital, gaol, post office and general stores were built in North Wagga. North Wagga was Wagga’s original settlement site!!!
The Main City Levee was built to protect the CBD/Central area, and all stakeholders knew at the time that when the Main City Levee did its job and diverted flood waters away from Central/CBD it would force it out across the higher ground in North Wagga. But nothing was done about it. Residents’ pleas for protection were ignored. In 1974, North Wagga experienced serious flooding for the first time, and has been suffering ever since. The latest flood in 2012 was categorised as “catastrophic”.
Not only are Council breaching its moral obligation to look after us, they are also breaching a State Policy called the 2005 Flood Prone Land Policy, which makes it mandatory for Councils to mitigate personal losses incurred by people as a result of living in the floodplain. In the fourteen years since this policy was introduced, nothing has been implemented for North Wagga.
As if to add salt to the wound, Council has also ignored constant warnings that the thick vegetation along the river must be thinned out so it does not impact on flood levels in North Wagga. It actually states in the latest 2018 Floodplain Risk Management Plan that had the vegetation been addressed, North Wagga would likely not have flooded in 2012 because there was far less water flowing compared to the 1974 flood. That’s negligence!!
In 2015 the then Public Works Department determined that a 1 in 100 levee (the same size as the Main City Levee) was the most socially and economically favourable solution for North Wagga. This has been successfully disparaged by the Council-controlled Floodplain Advisory Committee based on two major arguments: (1) the impact of a 1 in 100 levee on upstream properties is unacceptable; and (2) if North Wagga was protected by a 1 in 100 levee the Residents will become complacent about evacuating and this leads to an unacceptable risk to life. Guess how many properties there are upstream? 9 !!!! And guess how much the impact is? Approx. 15cm, which Public Works described as “small”.
As if that isn’t insulting enough, these two arguments used to negate the 1 in 100 levee for North Wagga were NEVER applied when the 1 in 100 levee was being considered for the CBD/Central area and so the current 2018 Plan supports the flooding of 203 households in North Wagga to save 9 properties outside the levee and the likelihood of an evacuation every 20 years. This is madness.
The next flood will see many residents go bankrupt because they can’t afford the excessive flood insurance premiums and so can’t repair their homes, which are rendered unliveable, and have to be abandoned. Those who can borrow against their homes to fund repairs increase their mortgages and their debt, exposing themselves to the risk that there will come a time when eventually the mortgage exceeds the value of the house.
Those with flood protection get in line to get their homes repaired which can take over a year, while they are displaced. When house values plummeted many businesses that are secured against them are then forced to close down unless alternative security is offered and many residents have to leave because their mortgages exceed the house value.
The situation is unsustainable and Council are doing nothing about it. Why?
Would it be because North Wagga is very valuable land, located strategically between the CBD, CSU and the Bomen Hub???? Does it have anything to do with the fact that a Councillor has been heard saying that Council wants North Wagga to become an industrial hub? Or maybe it is because two of the 9 upstream properties in North Wagga are owned by two local surgeons who have formed a lobby group in support of Council.
Firstly, if you would like more information, feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 0423185591. I am now an expert in this matter!
If you feel strongly about this, we could really do with your support.
YOU CAN HELP BY -
(1) EMAILING COUNCIL DIRECTLY ON email@example.com and mark the email to the attention of the GM and ALL COUNCILLORS and tell them that you know the truth and demand that they give North Wagga the same protection as the CBD/Central enjoys. Please note if Council feels the pressure they will have to act and us ratepayers will be spared from paying the legal fees and likely compensation which will reach many millions; and
(2) SIGN OUR PETITION ON CHANGE.ORG – just search “North Wagga Flood Protection” and it will come up. Scroll down the page to sign electronically; and
(3) DONATE ON OUR GOFUNDME PAGE. Hopefully if you are angry enough to spare some money you can donate to our legal fees fund. Just search “flood victims left for dead by council wagga”.
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