The City of Ballarat has assured would be homeowners flooding will not be an issue in the rapidly expanding western corridor of the city, despite significant bodies of water still visible.
Despite below average rainfall in both May and the first half of June, large bodies of water are still appearing along both sides of Ballarat-Carngham Road. The area suffered from significant flooding in 2016 after heavy spring rains, with water running across the road.
Ballarat Environment Network committee member Gavin Cerini, who raised concerns about developing along the stretch in 2016, said the low lying areas around Ballarat-Carngham Road had previously been considered wetlands.
“Unless (the estates are) equipped with very wide, high capacity drains then water will collect there when houses are built,” Mr Cerini said.
A drainage study for all 1000 hectares in Ballarat West was conducted back in 2012, which suggested a portion of the south-east corner of the Ballymanus housing estate become a dedicated wetland.
The plan has since been modified to take on a longer stretch, with a pipe set to run underneath Ballarat-Carngham Road in order to drain the land on the southern side of the road. Additional basins to the north and south will also service the housing developments.
The infrastructure is funded by the developers through a developer contribution fee of $218,000 per usable hectare within the Ballarat West growth area.
The $6 million drainage infrastructure will become council property once completed by the developers.
City of Ballarat infrastructure and environment director Terry Demeo said council was certain flooding would not pose an issue in the new housing developments.
Work has begun on the Ballymanus estate, which is being constructed by Integra, while fellow developers Winport International, who own part of the land to the south of Ballarat-Carngham Road, plan to be shovel-ready by the end of 2017.
Integra land sales director Nick Grylewicz said the company “will ensure that the latest in sustainability and water recycling techniques such as stormwater harvesting will be implemented” in Ballymanus..
A timeline on the construction of the Mondos development, which takes in much of the flooded land, remains unclear.