Bendigo Advertiser letters to the editor

Questions about data used for study

The Bendigo Urban Flood Study 2013 is a joint venture between the North Central Catchment Authority and the Bendigo City Council.

At a council meeting on Wednesday 15 November, 2017, councillors passed a motion to give effect to Planning Amendment C221 which implemented the findings of the study to apply a flood overlay to 5500 properties in the Bendigo area. 

This is a study which should never have been undertaken due to a lack of suitable data.

Important components of any flood study are rainfall figures and flow gauge information.

For this study the only rainfall data available for the entire study area, which stretches from Kangaroo Flat to Huntly, was from a rainfall gauge at the Bendigo airport.

There were only 2 flow gauges in the Bendigo Creek - one near Lake Weeroona and the other north of Huntly but both were found to be “not functioning  properly” and producing inaccurate information - no doubt due to a lack of regular maintenance.

No wonder the final report for this study is riddled with admissions by the consultants that it is based on poor data and in some cases, no data at all.

As a result Flood Eye, the flood reporting tool which sources information from the model created by the study, is producing ridiculous reports.

How could councillors possibly accept the findings of a flood study which wrongly claims (for example) that Rosalind Park, shops in Pall Mall and High Street, a church in McCrae Street and residential properties in Joseph Street and Carpenter Street (Kangaroo Flat) are subject to flooding from Bendigo Creek during such a common event as a one in five year flood ? 

Cr Julie Hoskin should be applauded for opposing the motion. She did her very best to protect the victims of this decision and in doing so said “in good conscience this document should not be accepted tonight as if councillors do they are doing so with constructive knowledge that it is wrong and I challenge any councillor to tell me this is not the case”.

There are now thousands of property owners in Bendigo who must feel let down by this decision.

They are now facing considerable financial loss due to a reduction in the value of their properties, increased insurance premiums, potential buyers being frightened off and financiers being reluctant to accept their properties as security for loans provided for purchasers.

Gavan Conroy, Strathdale

Mobile phones and road safety

Surely it is now time for the three arms of government (Federal, State and Municipal) to consider special legislation to ban the use of mobile phones by persons(of all ages!) crossing roadways, including their use of pedestrian crossings?

They are placing themselves and vehicle drivers in danger, as they concentrate on on the mobile screens for texting and phone calls, many with little awareness of traffic around them.

Perhaps Victoria can again lead the world in a road safety campaign, as happened successfully with the introduction of car seat-belt legislation.

David Elvery, Flora Hill