Monday, 16 March 2015

The flood next time......

Clarence Valley Council (CVC), in the NSW Northern Rivers region, has control of:

110 km of levee 
18 km rock protection 
50 bridges 
500 floodgates 
250 flood mitigation drains

on the Clarence Valley flood plain.

In the 2013 flood one section of the 110km of levee walls was topped at Wilton Park, Waterview:

This is what that section looks like today:

Clarence Valley Council has apparently done no actual repair work on this levee since the 2013 flood.

According to its records it is quibbling over the amount of funding for levee repair the NSW Baird Government is willing to supply:

[CVC Corporate, Governance & Works Committee , Business Paper, 10 March 2015]

One has to wonder what other sections of the levee network are in a similar state of disrepair?

I hope council’s insurer will be happy to pay the costs which are likely to be awarded after the next big flood should residents (and their insurers) take council to court on the basis that levee disrepair contributed significantly to flood damage on their properties. 

Or will council’s insurer refuse to pay if residents were to win such a case?

* All images found on Twitter


Clarence Valley Council rates its infrastructure assets on a scale of 1 (excellent condition) to 5 (very poor condition).

Currently 39 segments of the 110km of levee walls are rated in poor condition to very poor condition.

Floods over recent years have had a major impact on floodplain asset condition. In general the restoration cost of these assets has been excluded from the assessment on the basis that Council will receive Natural Disaster Relief Assistance for damage caused by these events. However, damage will occur to assets from repeated flood events that may not be able to be attributed to single events but will cause the increased deterioration of assets over time. The restoration costs of these assets will ultimately be borne by Council.

Major emphasis is to increase maintenance levels in the following areas:
* Rural levee maintenance – increased inspection and maintenance on a four year cycle;…

Proposed to increase asset renewals and new and upgrading of assets in the following major areas:
* Rehabilitate levee segments rated condition 4 or 5 over a 20 year timeframe (currently 39 segments);….

General focus will be on managing condition 4 and 5 floodplain assets and maintaining floodplain assets rated at condition 3 and above.
*Additional detailed data is to be gathered on floodplain network, especially rural levees, to better determine the extent of the condition of the assets and to more effectively schedule maintenance and capital works. This is also to include crest surveys of the levees.....

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