Flooding could have been avoided, say Libs

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NEGLECT of Canberra’s essential stormwater assets may have exacerbated the damage caused in yesterday’s flood, says Liberal MLA Nicole Lawder.

Nicole Lawder.

“My thoughts go out to all Canberrans who are cleaning up the mess caused in yesterday’s flood,” she says.

“While not as flashy as light rail and shiny laptops, maintaining stormwater assets is a vital, taxpayer funded service that the Labor-Greens government has neglected.The Opposition urban services spokeswoman says that last month the Canberra Liberals raised concerns with the government’s failure to maintain Canberra’s essential stormwater assets following an auditor-general’s report on the issue, asserting that the report, “Acceptance of Stormwater Assets”, found that:

Flood risk mitigation work is not being undertaken, despite known risks;

Some stormwater infrastructure cannot cope with major rain events;

The government has no plans to review stormwater infrastructure; and

In-fill development is increasing the risk of flooding but the government is not taking action.

She says the auditor-general’s report also said that established areas of Canberra had not been reassessed since development, “despite the fact that there is known flood risk in some locations”, saying it also noted that: “There is an increased risk because the stormwater infrastructure in many established areas of Canberra will be unable to cope with major rain events. This is because the stormwater network has not been augmented to help manage increased or more concentrated flows from… in-fill developments, such as multi-unit high rise developments.”

“The event showed us the devastating effects of the government’s inaction.,” says Lawder.

“I have requested an urgent briefing from Minister Fitzharris to ensure this is an isolated event.”

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