One step closer to flood-proofing Emerald

Option C receives council approval.
Option C receives council approval. Daryl Wright

THE Central Highlands council has identified three preferred strategies to progress flood mitigation for Emerald with the State Government.

Excavation and vegetation management of the Nogoa River is part of the approach, along with options upstream, in and around the Fairbairn Dam to be explored with SunWater, and what the community endorsed as its most popular option, Scenario 15.

Additional mitigation measures at Codenwarra Rd, Lakeside Dr and north of Pritchard Rd are also being considered.

The CHRC discussed the flood mitigation project at this week's meeting with Mayor Peter Maguire saying he understood the level of public interest was "enormous".

"I want people to understand that this is not a decision about carrying out works," Cr Maguire said.

"It is a policy decision that is setting the course for our next stage.

"I am sure the community of Emerald will be pleased that there is some direction about our plans for flood mitigation."

Councillors also approved a tender for a geotechnical study to look at possible levee systems.

It was agreed that the council would continue with the clearing of the Nogoa River and look into the feasibility of scenario 15 (Option C) of the flood mitigation options.

Cr Maguire said investigations into the viability of the levee system should be finished in six months.

"... we will also undertake studies of what we put to the community as Option C," he said.

"This will give us an idea of where the levees might go, what they would look like, would be made of, and indeed if they are a viable option."

Applications for approval for the Nogoa River clearing work were lodged this week.

Scenario 15 would protect 2797 homes which were exposed to flooding in 2010/11 from flood waters in the future.

It involved several components with numerous levees, including one west of Selma Rd.

Cr Maguire said he appreciated the level of public comment that was provided to council.

"We appreciate the time and effort that the people of Emerald have taken to provide us with their feedback.

"We will continue to keep people informed about what progress we are making," he said.

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