By Nasik Swami
Do you have your congratulations in order?
Naracoorte-Lucindale Council mayor Patrick Ross says the council needs to be congratulated on the drainage works that have been carried out over the past few years.
While the recent floods ran havoc in many parts of the district, Mr Ross believes the speed and way in which the water receded “was a great demonstration of good planning following evidence that areas were subject to flooding in the past”.
However, many residents and business owners The News spoke to disagreed with Mr Ross, blaming the “poor drainage system” as the major cause of flooding in many areas of the township.
Some residents who spoke on the basis of anonymity said the improper drainage system was a major issue that has been ignored for years.
“The same areas get flooded during prolonged downpours. When you check, it’s the drains incapacity to take in the water,” the residents highlighted.
“So, what has improved?” asked the residents.
The mayor said the recent rainfall event, which saw in excess of 48mm per hour of rain, was a one in one-hundred-year event for our location.
“In fact, the NRLE tipped out 147mm. There is one thing in common with water and gravity it generally goes downhill,” he said.
Mr Ross said in this case, there was lots of rain at the higher end of the Naracoorte township, even where it travelled very short distances before impacting homes.
“There were large volumes of water accumulating, and there is nothing that can be done at that time that could have alleviated the situation.
“The further down the hill the water travels, the greater the impact is likely to be.
“I believe that the council needs to be congratulated on the drainage works that have been carried out over the past few years.
“I know that the Director of Infrastructure has been surveying what happened and where there may be opportunities for improvement, and I’m sure he will report to the council any findings that may need addressing.
“On Friday (November 24), I was out of the district. It is commendable that not only do the emergency services stand up as we hope, but also our council employees were recalled assisting with sand bagging, and also private enterprise was there as well, helping their community when they needed help.”
Mr Ross thanked everyone for their support, saying, “it once again is a demonstration of how a community rises and gets the job done when it’s there to do.
During the March council meeting, Cr Cameron Grundy highlighted that the council administration does not have an engineering report that mitigates the risk of flooding in the township.
Cr Grundy told the meeting on March 28 that he was inundated with reports from the public worried about the blocked Naracoorte Creek and the flooding implications it could have.
“Over the last six months, several people have reported to me about the risk of flooding. We are aware of the Naracoorte Creek beautification project, that’s all good,” he said during the meeting.
“But what is the council doing about these blockages, and I haven’t seen an engineering report that provides a fix to this issue.
“Council needs to come up with a solution because people have been living in Naracoorte for decades and are really worried.”
In his planning and compliance report, manager planning, and compliance Paul McRostie stated that the council had been working with Plan SA to better understand potential flooding issues within the Naracoorte township from a development assessment perspective through a code amendment.
The report stated that the code amendment sought to update the extent of the hazard (Flooding – Evidence Required) overlay in the planning and design code in 13 local government areas and several outback areas of the State, based on more recent flood hazard mapping.