Controls for flood zones on agenda

Ballarat City Council will tonight vote on extending Burrumbeet Creek catchment flood protection controls.

It follows an investigation into a once-in-60 years flood in Miners Rest in January, 2011, with four smaller floods also hitting the township in the past 10 years, including last September.

The council has been criticised by residents for failing to implement flood mitigation controls for Miners Rest and Invermay after the 2011 flood.

They were also critical of the council approving new developments in flood prone areas.

But Ballarat Planning Scheme Amendment C178 was prepared by the council following a December 2013 investigation into the 2011 floods.

It sets out permit requirements, application requirements, referral arrangements and decision guidelines when considering proposed catchment development, along with flood, inundation and environmental hazards.

The amendement was exhibited between November 12 and December 18, 2015, attracting 33 submissions.

Of those, 23 were mainly opposed to the changes due to inaccurate flood modelling and mapping, a lack of action with on-ground flood control works and possible land devaluation.

Cartoon: John Ditchburn

Cartoon: John Ditchburn

The council then sent the amendment to a state government independent planning panel on the advice of council officers.

The panel found the flood modelling had all been “subject to expert review” but no technical evidence had been provided disputing its accuracy.

It also concluded the amendment was “strategically justified and supports state policy for floodplain management by identifying areas liable to flood risk hazard based on a one in 100 year probability”.

It is recommended the council adopt the amendment, subject to minor changes, including extra flood investigation work and overlay mapping in the Draffins Road area.