A flood levee at Carisbrook remains incomplete a decade after the community was devastated by flooding.
More than 250 homes at Carisbrook were inundated with water in January 2011, inflicting damage felt by the community to this day.
Frustrated residents gathered by the creek on Monday to discuss the work that still needed to be done to make them feel safe.
Work on a flood levee is partially complete.
Flood prevention concerns
CARISBROOK residents are calling for more consultation and consideration from the Central Goldfields Shire Council as authorities work towards completing the community's flood levee.
A gathering to mark 10 years since the central Victorian floods provided an opportunity for Carisbrook residents to raise concerns and queries about the levee project, which is partially complete.
Monthly updates from the council were among the suggestions the Central Goldfields Ratepayers and Residents Association raised regarding the project.
"Our aim wholly and solely is to try and get the community to work alongside the council," Wayne McKail, the association's president, said.
Mr McKail was among a number of residents at Monday's gathering in Bucknall Reserve who had gone to council seeking improvements to plans for the levee project.
Carisbrook resident Keith McLeish believed there needed to be more culverts, along with a spillway.
His home was among those affected by the 2011 floods.
"We're not the worst ones, but we were one of the first ones to cop the water," Mr McLeish said.
Losses to the floodwater included bales of wool stored at the McLeish family's Carisbrook home from their nearby farm.
Mr McLeish believed Monday's gathering was one of the most important ones the community had had since 2011, as the flood levee works were at the crucial stage.
"Another three months and it might be too late," he said.
The project is nearing its final phase, with further funding believed to be among the elements determining the pace of progress.
Residents at Monday's meeting had questions about where the project was at and the designs for the next stage.
Representatives from the council, VicRoads, and the North Central Catchment Management Authority were among those present.
But at least one of the councillors in attendance said they would be seeking a briefing from council staff following Monday's meeting.
Mr McKail said the ratepayers and residents association sought an update from council about the project three weeks ago.
"Council have not even responded," he said.
North Central Catchment Management Authority's Camille White said attendees at Monday's meeting had raised some good ideas about how to improve on the design of the project's final stage.
She said the project's initial design was about achieving the community's wants and needs.
"So let's make sure we give them a design that actually does that," Ms White said.
She said the community expected the flood levee to take water away from the town and reduce the burden on council for further maintenance.
The Carisbrook community also wanted a design that was "a lot more foolproof into the future."
"The next stage for us is to support council to get the funding to actually do the works," Ms White said.
Piecing the puzzle together
Carisbrook Fire Brigade captain Ian Boucher was feeling frustrated as the community marked the 10th anniversary of the 2011 floods.
"Frustrated that we've still got to push for a solution to a problem that happened 10 years ago," Mr Boucher said.
He would have been in the thick of it 10 years ago, responding to what the brigade knew would be a heavy rain event. But Mr Boucher was unprepared for what central Victoria experienced.
Carisbrook was one of the communities hardest hit by flooding. Others included Charlton and Rochester.
More than 250 homes in Carisbrook were inundated by water, but Mr Boucher said the whole community was affected by the flood.
"I would have thought anywhere else, if 200 houses had been flooded, [and] all its residents had been affected, we'd have a solution by now," Mr Boucher said.
Instead, he was at a meeting where the most pressing topic of discussion was the final stage of work on a flood levee - a stage Mr Boucher said hooked all the previous stages together.
Ms White, of North Central CMA, expected it would be a few more years before the work was completed.
"The town itself has a high level of protection from flooding from the river itself," she said.
"It would have to be an extreme event - effectively another January 2011 event - to flood the town again, but it's that frequent inundation from the overland flows that really needs to be addressed.
"That's what these works are about, so they're not flooding on average every 10 years."
Some residents weren't sure about the town's preparedness for flooding - an event they were all too aware could happen at any time.
"It's the mental side of things - not from my point of view, I can cope, but there are a lot of people who can't," Carisbrook resident Trish Coutts said.
"Every time it rains they start to shift stuff up. That's not on. We don't want to see that. It's not fair to people when things could be fixed."
She was passionate about ensuring the community got the best possible outcome from the flood levee works - something she was not confident the existing works or design provided.
"We won't give up until it is done properly," Mrs Coutts said.