Council endorsed the final North Wagga Flood Study Peer Review
Published: 25 Aug 2022 2:52pm
Council resolved to endorse the independent final peer review of the 2018 Wagga Wagga Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan at Wagga Wagga City Council’s ordinary meeting on Monday night (22 August), noting it shows no findings which would materially change the outcomes of the original 2018 study and plan.
Council also supported the recommencement of the original feasibility study for flood mitigation options for North Wagga and surrounding floodplain areas, incorporating a thorough communication and consultation process.
Mayor Dallas Tout said the debate at Council’s Monday night ordinary meeting was robust but was pleased the outcome will see much needed progress in providing protection to the residents of North Wagga.
“Councillors spent the time and exercised their due diligence reading through the in-depth documentation provided in the review,” Cr Tout said.
“It ultimately assisted Council to reach a decision, which was to endorse the peer review so we could recommence the paused feasibility study.
“The review was undertaken at the request of North Wagga representatives to address concerns including that the outcome of the 2018 Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan was flawed because the community had been denied appropriate input to support a levee which would provide greater protection.
“Independent company BMT was awarded the contract to carry out the peer review which considered whether the 2018 Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan should be varied to have a levee which provides greater protection.
“The final peer review concluded that the information in the 2018 Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan, together with the outcomes of the peer review, is sufficient to reasonably determine that a 5% Annual Exceedance Probability (one in twenty odds) level of protection, rather than a 1% AEP (one in one hundred odds) level of protection, be recommended for future investigation”.
The peer review focused on outcomes of the Floodplain Risk Management Study and Plan 2018 including:
- Ensure the recommend options aligned with predicted flood behaviour and addressed whole of community concerns.
- Determine if there is a cause to reasonably conclude that a flood protection levee greater than 5% Annual Exceedance Probability (one-in-twenty year flood) level of protection should be considered in the feasibility study.
- Identify missed opportunities which might be rectified or addressed in future works.
“Representatives of North Wagga were present at Floodplain committee meetings and had direct input into the selection of BMT for the work and scope of work to be undertaken in the peer review” Cr Tout said.
“The peer review was undertaken in relation to the very scope that the committee and North Wagga representatives contributed to.
“A range of options for the North Wagga levee were assessed in the review and this outcome was recommended for future investigation in a more detailed feasibility study.
“It is crucial to relaunch the feasibility study and move through a very clearly laid out process, so the population of North Wagga can be protected against the ramifications of further, and inevitable flooding, like we saw a few weeks ago.
“The next step is recommencement of the feasibility study which will take at a minimum 12 months with further consultation planned.”