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Millions needed to protect Wallsend from flooding

Monday February 4, 2013 - 10:47 EDT
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Millions needed to protect Wallsend from flooding - ABC

The President of the Wallsend Town Business Association says a minimum of $6 million needs to be spent to ensure the town's business district is protected from any future flood emergencies.

The town's main street was devastated in the June 2007 floods with 30 businesses flooded - eight of those have since left the area.

A flash flooding warning system has since been installed but local business owners say that is not enough to protect the town.

President Max McCorkell says there has been too many surveys and not enough action.

"All we've spent money on is surveys, questionnaires, this is what should be done, this is what we could do," he said.

"We haven't actually put a spade in the dirt to actually make the place safe.

"The minimum solution is $6 million.

"What that means is excavating under Minmi Road Bridge and making that bigger.

"If you go down and have a look, under the bridge it's nowhere near the capacity of what comes down the canal."

Mr McCorkell has described further detailed flood modelling in the suburb as just a waste of public money.

Newcastle Council's received more than $150,000 in state government funding to undertake detailed flood modelling of the town's commercial centre.

But Mr McCorkell says there have already been enough studies.

"This is a band aid effect to a major problem," he said.

"I hate to say it but we are wasting public money.

"That $156,000 is just a spit in the ocean and will not go anywhere to helping the matter.

"We've already spent hundreds of thousands doing the modelling.

"What's wrong with the last years of modelling and surveys and everything that's gone into it."

Member for Wallsend Sonia Hornery agrees more needs to be done.

"Between now and October 2014 they're focussing on how bulk buildings will perform under certain conditions and so on but we really need to look at that culvert under Minmi Road, that bridge, and excavating that and expanding it," she said.

"I'm really happy to lobby for more funding because this is an issue that won't go away."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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