GHCMA seek information on floods in south-west

Port Fairy in 2010
Port Fairy in 2010

INFORMATION and photos detailing flood-prone areas across the south-west are being sought as part of an effort to better deal with inundations.

Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority (GHCMA) is collecting data from residents, councils and SES crews to update their floodplain management plans for the region.

The state government released its flood strategy in April last year along with $25 million for CMAs to access for flood investigations, improved warning systems, mitigation works and other flood-related activities.

GHCMA floodplain and works manager Steve Homer said they were after the most up-to-date information possible.

“The intent is to highlight areas for future investment in managing floodplain issues,” Mr Homer said.

“We’re working with councils and the SES (to learn) about where the priority areas are.

“The sort of things we’re after is (to find out if) we need better information or more flood studies to understand where the risk is to properties and people’s safety, or how people may benefit from improved warnings, or potential forms of mitigation works to reduce the impacts of flooding (such as) culvert upgrades (or) flood walls.”

While Port Fairy had been the subject of extensive flood studies, surrounding areas, including rural communities where roads are often affected, weren’t as well studied, Mr Homer said.

“Moyne Shire has done a lot of work to understand the risk in the region, but there are still areas we don’t have good information on,” he said.

“Rural communities are often impacted by road closures.”

Despite the data already collected on Port Fairy, Mr Homer said GHCMA was still keen to hear from residents to ensure they have all the relevant information on potential flood impacts in the town.

Information including photos can be submitted via floodplainstrategy@ghcma.vic.gov.au or calling the GHMCA.

Public information sessions have been held in Warrnambool, Heywood, Skipton and Hamilton. Another is happening in Port Fairy today from 4pm-6.30pm at the Yacht Club, and one will be held in the future in Casterton.