A recent tour by the State Emergency Service (SES) of flood ravaged areas in the Murrumbidgee region has revealed a chronic shortage of investment in prevention infrastructure, such as levee banks.
The SES Murrumbidgee Region Controller James McTavish says Deniliquin is a good example of the country town that has made a long term investment in flood preparations.
Mr McTavish says it did not suffer the damage of other regions because of 20 years of investment in its levee system.
"You can see in areas where there has been that investment made in time and resources where the result was far less devastating," he said.
"That said we've got to recognise that many of the agencies responsible for those functions are very cash strapped."
Mr McTavish says he realises many local government areas are cash strapped after a decade of drought.
But he says investment in new levees and other infrastructure has been very low over the past 30 years.
"I suppose the thing that springs to mind most readily is the levee bank systems, the protective levees that do exist in many areas across the region," he said.
"There has been chronic under-investment in the maintenance and development of those pieces of infrastructure in many areas.
"There are a number of notable exceptions for example the levee system at Deniliquin."
Hay residents will soon know which properties will be hit in a major flood.
Mr McTavish says Hay is one of the few areas that was unable to supply an inundation map of the town during the crisis.
Many residents refused to follow SES instructions to evacuate.
Mr McTavish says the SES needs the map to know where water will go if Hay's levee bank is breached.
"As a result of flood operations in March, the SES is actually going to fund that study for Hay Shire Council," he said.
"That will allow us to have a more effective response in future flood events."
The State Emergency Service says it is not concerned communities upstream from Wagga Wagga will be adversely affected if levee banks are raised.
Mr McTavish says he welcomes the proposed 20 million dollar upgrade of the Wagga and North Wagga levees.
He says it will not have much of a negative effect on communities such as Oura and Gumly in most flood events, however he admits a higher levee does have an impact.
"Every time you do build infrastructure in a flood plain it does have an impact on future floods," he said.
"The thing we've got to recognise here is that it is raising the levee, for Wagga in particular, to about a one in 100 year flood event.
"The modelling that has been done sees minimal impact in upstream communities as a result of raising that levee.
"There are many millions of dollars of infrastructure in Central Wagga which will be devastated in the event of a flood.
"And we are yet to experience a one in 100 year flood in Wagga with the levee system in place.
"I would be very much happier when the levee system in Wagga is concluded."
© ABC 2012
13:00 EST A severe weather warning for destructive winds, heavy rain and damaging surf has been issued for the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast forecast districts.