MAYORAL MINUTE: Push for more flood mitigation funding

Published on 24 May 2022

Mayoral Minute no headshot.JPG

Council will advocate for more funding to help mitigate the Clarence Valley against future impacts from flooding.

Two separate Mayoral Minutes, which sought greater funding for floodplain management and house raising, have received unanimous support at the Ordinary Council Meeting at Grafton Council Chambers today (24 May).

Under the Voluntary House Raising Scheme, the NSW Government provides 67 per cent (up to $60,000) of the funding to raise the floor level of a dwelling, and the property owner is required to provide the 33 per cent balance.

In February this year Council was awarded a total of $810,000 across three years under the NSW Government 2021-22 Floodplain Management Program.

Mayor Ian Tiley presented a Minute to seek to secure "more appropriate levels of funding" to enable vulnerable houses to be raised above flood reach within a reasonable period of time.

"The current financial assistance is sufficient for raising only two to three dwellings per year," Mayor Ian Tiley said. "However, around 45 property owners in places such as Harwood, Southgate, Lawrence, Ulmarra and Gilletts Ridge have expressed interest to date.

"Given the likely further applications for house raising, and the present low rate of State Government funding support, it will likely be many years before most eligible dwellings would be raised."

Council will lobby the NSW Premier, Minister for Emergency Services and the Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis for increased funding for voluntary house raisings as a flood mitigation measure on the Clarence River floodplain.

Council will then present a motion to seek this increased funding at the 2022 Local Government NSW Annual Conference in the Hunter Valley in October, which will be attended by Cr Greg Clancy and Cr Allison Whaites.

Meanwhile, another Mayoral Minute resolved to seek greater Commonwealth and NSW funding to enable timely completion of various prioritised projects under its floodplain management plan.

"It is timely and appropriate, especially given we have experienced no less than four flood events since the election of this Council," Mayor Tiley said.

In August 2020 Council adopted and ranked for implementation a wide range of flood-related projects which relied on funding from other levels of government.

The top-ranked action on the list is the rehabilitation of approximately 600 metres of the Maclean levee.

Aerial of sandbagging Maclean levee during 2022 floods.JPG

Others include Iluka levee strengthening, major upgrades to flood pumps, and a new automatic gauge on the Orara River at Glenreagh.

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