Environment and Water Emergency Services | September 15, 2016

Kealy calls for Glenelg and Wannon flood modelling

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP is calling on the Premier to immediately fund flood studies and improve flood warning systems for communities along the Glenelg and Wannon Rivers.

"One of the biggest challenges for local residents and property owners during this week’s floods has been the limited warning time and changing expectation of flood water height,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Andrews Government must continue the extensive flood investigations which commenced under the Nationals-Liberal Coalition Government and immediately fund studies along the Glenelg and Wannon rivers.

“In Government, the Nationals-Liberal Coalition invested in FloodZoom technology, which partners with the Bureau of Meteorology to improve the data collection and flood mapping.

"For example, remote reading gauges along rivers deliver live-time information to Control Centres, which means individual communities can be better informed as flood threats develop for their areas.

“I have been advised there is only one warning gauge along the entire Glenelg River located upstream from Casterton, and no gauges on the Wannon. Extensive flood modelling and roll out of remote reading gauges along the Glenelg and Wannon rivers would allow water authorities, emergency services and the community to be better prepared for rising flood waters,” she said.

Ms Kealy also raised concern that while Minister for Emergency Services, James Merlino MP, promised a Flood Study for Coleraine during his recent visit, he had not yet made a formal request for funding to the Commonwealth Government.

“I contacted the office of the Federal Minister responsible, Michael Keenan, and was surprised that despite Mr Merlino’s announcement, he hadn’t yet made a formal funding submission,” Ms Kealy said.

"Minister Merlino must keep his promise to the people of Coleraine and make this submission without delay so the study can get underway as soon as possible.

"The Coleraine Flood Study would include extensive community consultation and investigation of flood mitigation options such as installation of a levy bank and consideration of removal of vegetation such as Cumbungi grass,” she said.

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