It has taken three years to get an improved flood warning system in Ballarat because of other priorities and a shortage of hydrologists in Victoria, according to Water Minister Peter Walsh.
Speaking at the announcement of the installation of water level gauges in waterways in the coming months, Mr Walsh said the Napthine and Bailieu governments had put the right works first since the 2010 and 2011 floods in Ballarat.
“There’s been stuff done every year,” Mr Walsh said. “If you don’t put them in the right place, they’re not going to give the real-time information you need to give warnings.
“One of the challenges was – post the floods – there was just so much work to do, that there was a limited number of hydrologists in Victoria, to actually do the detailed work,” he said.
“I remember the people out at Miners Rest after that flood saying we didn’t really know how big the flood was going to get, we didn’t really know what was happening. This is the sort of infrastructure that will enable that to happen.”
City of Ballarat CEO Anthony Schinck said the support from the Napthine government and the Office of Living Victoria had been “extraordinary”, and that the council “adapt (its) our operations and management in the future around projects like this, which will help us in flood management”.