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Towns weigh up flood defence options

Peter Lenaghan, Thursday January 10, 2013 - 10:03 EDT

The Victorian Government says it could take several years to deliver the flood mitigation projects being considered across the state.

It has been two years since the biggest of the recent floods to hit Victoria, and communities are continuing to repair homes and local roads.

Catchment authorities have been rewriting local flood plans, and developing options for new flood defences, such as town levees.

Work has been completed at Creswick, near Ballarat, and community feedback has closed on potential projects at Charlton, in the east Wimmera.

Final options are close to being finalised for Carisbrook, near Maryborough, and Rochester, south of Echuca.

The Water Minister, Peter Walsh, says projects identified for each town will be considered for funding.

"It will take a number of years to implement them as they are finalised," Mr Walsh said.

"There is a limit to the amount of funding that comes from the Commonwealth to be matched by the states for the implementation for these sorts of flood studies."

But Mr Walsh says communities should not be worried about the potential cost of the works.

"No, I think it's important to focus on what's going to deliver the best outcome because you're talking about something that will be there for 50 and 100 years," he said.

"So where it comes to town levees, that's a shared responsibility between local government, state government and Commonwealth through the funding mix."

The local councillor at Rochester, Leigh Wilson, says the social effect of flooding is still being felt in his town.

"There has been an increase in domestic violence and abuse," he said.

"These are the things that pay on in the community for a long period of time, and most of it is attributed back to the stress of the event, the immediate recovery and then after that the ongoing financial recovery."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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