Coffs needs a full flood study

COFFS Harbour MP Andrew Fraser has called for a full flood study to be completed in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen local government areas as a result of the weekend storm.

Mr Fraser said he had pressed for a flood study to be done during the meetings of the Coffs Coast Recovery Committee after the March and May events earlier this year, but this was met with some resistance by State and local government authorities.

“It would appear that over many years the growth of the Coffs Coast area has increased the amount of run off during major storm events,” Mr Fraser said.

“This coupled with trash traps which are designed to protect the estuarine and marine environment has meant that storm water drains are being blocked, which creates localised flooding that has inundated homes and businesses.

“If a flood study is done it will give us an opportunity to put in place flood mitigation measures which will minimise the impact of storm water in any future events. We also need to clear natural waterways of debris, much of which is either exotic plant species, such as camphor laurels and rubber trees, and also town rubbish, ranging from shopping trolleys to pizza boxes,” Mr Fraser added.

“Many of the retention basins which have been put in place have not been maintained and now have large amounts of vegetation in them which reduce their capacity and as a result water levels increase, water is slowed down, which results in localised flooding.

“The flood study should also look at bridges across Coffs Creek, especially the one on Orlando Street at Park Beach, which it would appear hold back the water and creates artificially high water levels in Coffs Creek. Historians tell us that section of Coffs Creek moored our local fishing fleet.

“Surely money spent on mitigation is a better long-term solution than disaster recovery payments every time we have storm events.”

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