CRESWICK couple Donna and Mark Patterson say the Hepburn Shire Council’s flood mitigation works have made their house even more flood-prone.
The Pattersons were left with nothing when floods swept through their Albert Street house in 2010 and twice again in 2011.
The council has been working in partnership with the state and federal governments to rebuild its flood-affected communities and has nearly completed a $30 million program of flood recovery works across the shire.
But rather than flood-proofing their home, Ms Patterson said the works had trapped it in a deeper hollow.
When her husband Mark approached the council about their predicament, he was told to put their house on stilts, Ms Patterson said.
As part of the council’s flood mitigation program, a levee wall is due to be built behind the Pattersons’ house.
In front of their property, Albert Street was raised in the centre to allow for a new roundabout at the intersection of the Midland Highway, Ms Patterson said.
“My house hasn’t gone up but the road has and at the back of the house where they’re building a wall,” she said. “Creswick wants an indoor swimming pool – they’ve got one.
“The council has definitely made our situation worse.”
In September 2010 the Pattersons’ home was ravaged by floods, and with no insurance cover at the time, they were left with nothing.
Ms Patterson said the water had poured out of windows, carrying their freezer into the street.
“The wall is only as high as the sandbags in the last flood and the water went straight over. It’ll be locked in here,” she said.
Hepburn Shire Council’s infrastructure general manager Bruce Lucas said the Creswick Flood Mitigation and Urban Drainage plan was directed by a community working group and was the result of extensive community consultation.
He said the works would provide protection to properties in the event of a similar flood.
“The levee banks that have been designed actually provide a greater level of protection to that particular property,” he said.
“The council would be happy to sit down with any property owner if they’ve got a concern and help them understand what the benefits are.”
Mr Lucas said the Albert Street roadworks were managed by VicRoads.