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Flood recovery efforts ongoing across shire

24 February 2017

Five months on from the floods that caused extensive damage across Victoria, works to restore key infrastructure and community assets in the Southern Grampians Shire continue.

Damaged artificial grass at the Coleraine Tennis Centre has been removed and the courts have been swept free of sand and line marked ready for the 2017 season to commence. Further soil tests will be conducted on the subsurface of these courts and the Netball courts at Sylvester Oval which will inform council of any underlying damage beneath the asphalt surfaces. These tests don’t impact use of the courts however, so residents and visitors are now able to use this area without concern for health or safety while the repairs continue.

The Coleraine Caravan Park will be assessed to fully quantify the damages to plumbing and electrical infrastructure for Council’s insurance purposes. Once an estimate of loss has been established and the full cost of reinstatement is understood, Council will undertake a discussion with the community to determine the best future model, and location, for the Coleraine Caravan Park.

The Cavendish Kindergarten, which suffered a flooded septic system and had to be relocated for the final term last year, is operational again, with a temporary bathroom installed late last term, and an additional staff member implemented to supervise the children in the use of the facility. The process of installing a new septic system at the Kindergarten is progressing, with the Flood Recovery Office now waiting on the consolidation of titles to be completed before giving the appointed contractor the go ahead to begin the installation.

The costs associated with the impact on the Cavendish public toilets septic are in the process of being estimated so that the options can be discussed with the community around either reinstating the public toilets in their current location or relocating the facilities to the Ron Lewis Park.

In Hamilton, repair works at the Apex Park Toilet block have been completed and the toilets are now open for public use. Works will soon commence to repairing the scour beneath the train platform.

Additionally, a dangerous fault in the Grangeburn Walking Track, between Apex Park and the Spillway has been made safe by infilling with gravel.

Natural Disaster Financial Assistance (NDFA) for local councils in Victoria is provided by the Victorian State Government to assist in the recovery process and alleviate some of the financial burden that may be experienced following a natural disaster, in accordance with the Commonwealth-State Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

A number of the damaged assets across our shire, such as our extensive walking track network, are neither insured nor eligible for restoration under this funding. This means that community assets in a number of towns are still awaiting final assessment of damage and the commencement of reinstatement works. There is an application from the State to the Federal Government for the release of funding to support these works. The outcome of this application is not yet known, but if successful will support works in areas such as:

  • Dunkeld Public Land Committee assets
  • Coleraine – Hamilton Rail trail
  • Cavendish Settlers Walk
  • Grangeburn/Lake Hamilton/ Digby Rd Wetlands restoration
  • Coleraine Bryan Creek walk
  • Coleraine Bowls Club
  • Community development support

Additionally, quotations are being sought by Council for three urgent jobs being:

  • Vic Point Road Culvert Repair
  • Coleraine Cavendish Embankment
  • Removal of large tree upstream of the Brung Brungle Bridge
  • Chetwynd-Nareen Road Culvert repair

Additional bridge works are also underway and the aim is to have these works completed as soon as possible.

An advance payment from the Department of Treasury and Finance has been applied for and received to enable the above works to be completed without impacting council’s cash flow.

It is a requirement of the funding arrangements that these works are completed under contract and not by the Council works team, who are busy with their annual capital and maintenance program. So if residents observe Council staff working on roads but seeming to ignore flood related damage, please try to consider that this is the requirement of the funding arrangements.

Council appreciates the patience and understanding of the community as we undertake the necessary processes to ensure we are able to restore our essential infrastructure and community assets as quickly as possible.

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