Land near Merri River and Russells Creek now off flood risk list

THIRTY hectares of urban land within the Merri River and Russells Creek corridors in Warrnambool might be opened up for development after they were declassified as having potential high flood risk. 

Warrnambool City Council city strategy co-ordinator Steve Myers said most of the land that could potentially be opened up for development along the two creeks was between Caramut Road and the rear of St Joseph’s Primary School.

Mr Myers said there were a few sites where it might be possible to open up a large amount of land for development but there were more sites where only a small amount of land had been declassified. 

The declassification follows a review by the Glenelg-Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (CMA) to more accurately identify properties that would be subject to flooding during a one in 100-year storm.

The city council said the CMA review found there was less land potentially at risk of inundation in a severe flood event than previously thought.

In response to the new flood mapping information, the council has proposed an amendment to the Warrnambool Planning Scheme that refines the areas at risk.

The proposed amendment has been released for public comment and the council is encouraging landowners affected by the revised flood controls to make a submission to council.

Mr Myers said the proposed changes to the planning scheme would have an influence over development controls on properties.

“The new controls use the latest information and help provide certainty for property owners and developers,” Mr Myers said.

The CMA findings prompted the development of the North Warrnambool Flood Mitigation project, which has installed new culverts under Mortlake Road, removed selective vegetation along and in Russells Creek and the recontoured the floodplain.

The installation of flood walls later this year will complete the mitigation project.

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