Thursday, 26 September 2013 11:45

Time to act on flood threat to Hawkesbury

Media Release November 2, 2012

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils has called on the State Government to urgently address threats of potential floods around the Hawkesbury Nepean.


WSROC President Clr Tony Hadchiti said the flooding was a serious concern for key western Sydney Councils including Liverpool, Penrith, Blacktown and Hawkesbury and that an urgent study was needed to determine appropriate mitigation measures.

“Our councils have been calling for action on this issue for years,” he said.

“Now Infrastructure NSW has backed our calls and listed implementation of Hawkesbury Nepean Flood Plain mitigation measures as a key recommendation of their First Things First State Infrastructure Strategy.

Clr Hadchiti said a study carried out as part of the strategy had shown there were 21,000 residential buildings on the floodplain – more than 5,000 than previously thought, and that an additional 143 hectares of commercial and industrial property had been built since 1990.

The report also noted that a repeat of the 1867 flood would cause up to $1.7 billion in direct damages and $3 billion in total damages.

“This would affect an estimated 7,600 homes, with about 1200 of those destroyed, Clr Hadchiti said.

“A 1 in a 1000 flood, such as that in Queensland early last year would cause up to 4.3 billion in direct damages and up to $8 billion in total damages, affecting 14,000 homes.

“A flood of this magnitude would put 43,000 residents and 9,000 employees of local business at risk.”

“These are risks that we simply cannot afford to take and the NSW Government needs to act on these recommendations as a matter of urgency,” Clr Hadchiti said.

The issue was also raised at last week’s LGSA conference in Dubbo where Hawkesbury council supported a motion by Liverpool council to establish a joint infrastructure committee to oversee emergencies and write to both the NSW and Federal Governments requesting an study to determine the potential threat from flooding and to consider funding urgent mitigation measures, including raising the Warragamba dam wall.

WSROC Vice President, Clr Tiffany Tree, who is also the Deputy Mayor of Hawkesbury, said she strongly supported the recommendations from Infrastructure NSW which again highlighted the need for action and called on both the State and Federal Governments to fund key mitigation initiatives such as raising the dam wall.

“We also need the State and Federal Governments to fund a major study of the potential impact of flooding in Western Sydney catchments,” she said.

“This is important because, although individual councils have conducted their own studies, we need an overall regional assessment in order to be truly effective.

“These isolated studies have impacted on permissible building heights, insurance and land values, when in fact a regional study would produce a more realistic picture of the flood plain in Western Sydney,” she said.



Media Inquiries Karin Bishop, Deputy CEO on 0417 239 539

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Ltd

Suite 2 Level 1 (PO Box 63) Blacktown 2148

© 2011 WSROC Ltd

T 02 9671 4333; F 02 9621 7741

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:46

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