FOR seven years, Carisbrook residents have been on tenterhooks about the possibility of re-living the floods that swept through their community and inundated 300 homes.
To this day, they are unclear about what to expect if they find themselves in the midst of a significant rain event.
Flood mitigation works are partially completed, and the idea of the Central Goldfields Shire Council establishing a reference group in relation to the project was met with ire in June. Even though the group is aimed at keeping the Carisbrook community informed about the implementation of further steps in the flood and drainage management plan.
Residents are, understandably, seeking a little less conversation and a little more action from their elected members.
Member for Ripon Louise Staley’s promise of a $1 million upgrade of Carisbrook Recreation Reserve has been welcomed by the community.
After years of lobbying for the much-needed works, there’s a glimmer of hope for action.
But the funding is dependent on the outcome of the state election, in November.
It’s difficult not to become too cynical at this point in an election year, when causes people have been telling us are near and dear to them for prolonged periods of time are at risk of being used for political clout.
When people who have persevered through sub-optimal, and sometimes downright heartbreaking, situations are promised the progress they’ve long been working towards, provided they consider how they’ll cast their votes.
The people of Carisbrook – and throughout central Victoria – deserve more than promises of progress with strings attached. They deserve positive change.
So, while we celebrate with our communities when the causes they’ve been championing receive the attention they deserve, we wish it were less dependent on the timing of an election cycle and more responsive to the community’s needs as they’re identified.
It’s distressing for Helen Broad to still have to say: “If we can't fix the flood problem the town's not going to develop”.