FEWER homes would be submerged if the Moyne River bursts its banks but the damage bill in Port Fairy could still top $3 million, according to the latest report to be released by Moyne Shire this week.
The long-awaited Port Fairy floodplain management plan will give certainty to developers and home owners anxious to know where their properties stand against floodwaters.
Moyne officers have recommended council pass a raft of planning changes first flagged in 2008.
New flood maps have removed parts of the township from the firing line but rural sections just outside the township have been highlighted as at risk.
Previously a worst-case scenario estimated up to 300 homes would be affected in an extreme once-in-a-hundred-year flood causing upwards of $3.5 million in damages.
That figure has been revised down — although Moyne Shire is yet to reveal by how much.
Dozens of multi-million-dollar riverside properties and the town’s football oval at the Gardens Caravan Park also still face inundation if the Moyne River was to flood.
The report reinforces that development be restricted in the north-east of the township along the Moyne River and Belfast Lough.
Moyne Shire will meet tomorrow to decide whether or not to approve the report and the proposed planning changes.
Moyne chief executive David Madden said while the flood area was greater, there were fewer properties that needed to be concerned about floodwaters reaching their doorstep.
Parts of central Port Fairy, including Regent Street, have been lifted from the flood overlay while the risk for homes along Griffiths Street between East Beach and the Moyne River have been downgraded.
“It’s actually taken the overlay off some areas and will allow development in some areas. It’s actually freed up some blocks,” Mr Madden said.
“It’s going to give people better certainty.”
Moyne Shire has prepared two different planning rules — one for areas affected by river flooding and another for rain inundation.
“If council does adopt it next Tuesday (tomorrow) what we will do is put the amendments on exhibition,” he said.
Informal public meetings are also planned for residents and landowners in October while council will also accept submissions.
“Depending on the outcome of that, it (the Port Fairy floodplain management plan) will either go to a planning panel or it goes to the minister.”
The report follows another study into rising sea levels released in June pinpointing vulnerable parts of the coastline in the coming century.