Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed says better cross border information is needed for effective flood management.
This comes as residents wait for flood waters to recede along the Murray River.
“There is no doubt the construction of substantial levee banks on the NSW side of the river has affected the ability of the community and emergency services to predict the outcome of this event,” Ms Sheed said.
In Parliament today, Ms Sheed asked the Minister for Water Lisa Neville, what mechanism is currently in place for the management of flood levees on both sides of the River Murray, including the current status of any joint committees.
Ms Neville conceded stronger relationships needed to be formed.
“NSW agencies have identified a number of levees that are unauthorized, and we are still to understand what impact they may be having on flood flows.
The NSW government is investigating that, and will be reporting back to Victoria in relation to that,” she said.
“In regards to the floodplain strategy, each of the nine regional strategies will require a partnership with NSW, where it’s along the Murray….for ongoing flood mitigation, and flood strategy work.”
Meanwhile, Ms Sheed has also highlighted the state of the levee banks many of which she has viewed in the past week when attending meetings at towns along the Murray River at Stratmerton, Picola and Barmah.
“Residents are concerned the flood levees have not been maintained, and have significantly deteriorated as a result of many years of neglect,” she said.
“While there is a Victorian Floodplain Management Plan there seems to be a great deal of confusion about who is responsible for levees in different landownership categories including on Crown land and in state forests and National Parks, and it is clear that wherever that responsibility lies steps are not being taken to repair and maintain those levees.”
Ms Neville said the Floodplain Management Plan clearly outlined responsibility.
“It is very, very clear that the state government will be a partner with the council and with Commonwealth government, in building new levees and in major refurbishment of levees, with those who benefit then responsible for the maintenance of those levees,” she said.
Sueanne McCumstie 0428 743 880│firstname.lastname@example.org