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Councils boost flood planning efforts

Wednesday March 6, 2013 - 10:11 EDT

Victorian councils are planning for more regular floods because of climate change.

The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) says a number of councils are struggling to deal with storms and flooding.

Businesses and residents in Shepparton are still cleaning up after 160 millimetres of rain last week cut off hundreds of homes in the city's north and flooded four houses in the east.

MAV president Bill McArthur says infrastructure, including gutters and culverts, are unable to cope with such unusual increases in rainfall.

However, he says councils have improved guidelines on where to build new estates in flood-prone areas.

"The catchment management authorities [CMAs] have updated their flood mapping and they are a referral authority when it comes to planning, so yes that is very much taken into account and certainly the needs of the community and those communities that are going to live in those areas are certainly taken into account," he said.

Councillor McArthur says climate change means one-in-100-year flood events are happening more often.

He says municipalities with ageing infrastructure and poor flood mitigation will struggle to upgrade systems without financial help.

However, Cr McArthur says improved flood mapping from CMAs is helping with future planning.

"Where once you may have looked at putting in a subdivision now they are clearly marked as a no-go zone and certainly councils have had to hone their skills because of the recent events we have had and are very conscious of making sure that we've got safe places for our community when subdivision and development takes place," he said.


© ABC 2013

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