CAMPASPE Shire Council has thanked the community for comments received through its recent survey about a feasibility report detailing the implications of constructing levees and diverting water flows around Rochester and Nanneella.
Mayor Adrian Weston said the report, entitled Feasibility Report – Rochester Flood Mitigation Study, investigated the practicality of constructing new levees and diverting water flows to mitigate a repeat of the devastating flood events from 2011 that saw the Campaspe River flood, affecting 80 per cent of Rochester and surrounds.
“We received about 200 completed surveys from the Rochester and Nanneella communities, as well as good attendance at both the information sessions and in-street sessions where residents could find out about the study, its implications, and comment whether in favour or not of the suggested works,” he said.
“It’s clear the issue is very complex and some of the community are unaware of the works completed since 2011 to reduce flooding or provide advance flood warnings.”
Two actions have been completed from the Rochester Flood Management Plan.
■Replacement of a levee bank about 5.7km south of Rochester, a levee which failed in 2011 and created flooding to the east.
■Installation of a flood warning system for Rochester, including a new river gauge at the Campaspe River at Rochester, now providing advance flood warnings.
The third action in the plan involved the reinstatement of a breakaway flood flow path from the Campaspe River to the east and construction of additional levee banks.
This was identified as the best option to limit the flooding of Rochester.
“An initial review of responses shows that about a quarter were received from residents in the Nanneella Depression area, with the balance from Rochester township residents,” Cr Weston said.
“A low level of support has been received for the proposed flood mitigation works estimated at $7 million from those that suffered severe flooding, township and rural residents.”
The results will now be reviewed in detail, discussed with the Community Reference Panel that has been providing guidance to the study to date, and reported to council in February for a decision on how to progress.