Flood study to help protect Heathcote

LAUNCH: Water Minister Peter Walsh, North Central Catchment Management Authority deputy chair Julie Slater and City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons in Heathcote. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

LAUNCH: Water Minister Peter Walsh, North Central Catchment Management Authority deputy chair Julie Slater and City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons in Heathcote. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

WATER Minister Peter Walsh today confirmed the state government will provide $200,100 towards a study into flood management at Heathcote.

Another $29,900 will come from the federal government's Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme.

Mr Walsh said the investigation would deliver updated flood mapping for the town for a range of scenarios.

"This is important work that will give the Heathcote community a better understanding of its flood risk and the findings will also be used to improve land use planning, flood emergency planning and response, and community preparation for floods.

“Community participation is an important part of the study. A local steering committee will be established to lead the projects, and Heathcote locals will also be asked to share their local knowledge and to help verify flood maps.”

Mr Walsh said some regional communities were still recovering from floods in 2010 and 2011 and it was important to prepare with warning systems and flood models.

"Since then a lot of work has been done to get those communities back on their feet," he said.

"We can't get lolled into a false sense of community, even during drought.

"We will make sure the community is better prepared next time there is an event."

Mr Walsh also pointed out that there would be more run-off as Heathcote developed.

City of Greater Bendigo mayor Barry Lyons said data obtained from the study would assist the council when making decisions on planning applications.

He said he was grateful for the state government's assistance.

Heathcote has flooded several times in the past.

​While in Heathcote, Mr Walsh also announced a new two-year $580,000 research project with the Australian Grape and Wine Authority to help protect the wine industry from the serious grapevine insect pest phylloxera.

“This new partnership project with AGWA aims to boost the wine grape industry’s defences against phylloxera by identifying the best disinfestation techniques and developing new management options to prevent its spread into areas of Victoria that remain phylloxera-free," he said.

Mr Walsh also officially opened an expansion of Tooborac Hotel's microbrewery with Nationals candidate for Euroa Steph Ryan.

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