No Secret Reports - Moree Floodplain Study
Documents from the consultants who prepared the Floodplain Risk Management Study are circulating in the community with concerns being expressed by some property owners that information has been withheld from the public.
Council’s Director of Planning and Development, Angus Witherby, stressed that no policy decisions have been made at this time, and the reports, which are freely available, are advice to the Council. “Council now needs to start the process of responding to the recommendations in the report – which will be done hand in hand with the community” he stated.
The Floodplain Study and Floodplain Risk Management Study.
Turning to a possible levee, Mr Witherby said “Council has received a number of phone calls from the community I want to make it clear that any decision as to whether to proceed with a levee or not is some time away.
The Council would first need to decide whether to seek funding for a full feasibility study for a levee, and only if the study finds a levee practical and cost-effective would Council and the community then decide whether to seek State Government support for construction.
The levee route set out in the consultants’ report is a preliminary alignment, and it would not be until a full evaluation is undertaken, including community input, that a firm recommended alignment would be established.
Concerns have also been expressed in the community about possible compulsory property purchases.
The Floodplain Risk Management Study does not identify any land for compulsory purchase, but identifies flood-affected land that may be appropriate for voluntary purchase, which would be initiated by the landholder, not Moree Plains Shire Council.
Mr Witherby stressed “This is a possible approach that can be used in circumstances where flood risk is high but again, no policy position on voluntary purchase has been adopted by Council at this stage,” he reiterated.
Mr Witherby encouraged members of the community to attend the meeting at the Moree Memorial Hall at 6pm on Monday 11 September 2017. He also advised that large copy floodplain maps would be available at the meeting.
Members of the community can also participate in informal “one-on-one” sessions from 4pm to discuss individual properties with key Council staff. No booking is required.