Monday, 15th of July 2024
Subscribe | Log in
Local News, the Trusted News Source

Latest News

Boosts to Flood Funding in the Hawkesbury

Jun 23, 2024

The New South Wales Government has unveiled a plan to enhance flood preparedness and emergency response capabilities across the state, particularly focusing on high-risk areas such as the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley and the Northern Rivers. This initiative involves a $94.7 million investment in the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) over the next four years.

The announcement comes one day after the release of the 2024 Hawkesbury- Nepean River Flood Study 2024 – one of the most comprehensive flood studies ever undertaken in NSW. It found the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley has one of the highest flood risks in Australia and would only get worse with climate change.

Premier Chris MInns announces the flood funding package today in Wilberforce.

Announcing the initiatives in Wilberforce today, Premier Chris Minns said the new funding aims to significantly boost the SES’s operational capacity.

“Communities in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley know all too well the devastating effects of flooding. The NSW Government has been working hard to get flood preparation and mitigation right, including creating safer, faster evacuation routes, improving flood resilience on our roads, and ensuring the SES is well equipped to safeguard our communities in times of crisis,” Minns said.

He said the new funding will address several critical areas:

– Improved flood planning and response strategies

– Enhanced fleet maintenance and acquisition of new equipment

– Increased training and volunteer recruitment

– Better public information dissemination through platforms like the SES website and the Hazards Near Me App.

An additional $18 million will be allocated in the first year to further develop flood planning, intelligence, and rescue capabilities, including coordination and operational systems, as well as volunteer support and training.

The new funding is in addition to the $14.9 million fleet investment, in 164 new assets across the state by the end of July. These assets include 40 vessels, 75 ark angel rafts, 45 command vehicles, two heavy rescue vehicles, and two trailers, which have been pivotal during recent severe weather events.

NSW State Emergency Service Acting Commissioner Deb Platz said the initiatives represent a significant step forward in bolstering the state’s flood resilience and ensuring the safety of communities in vulnerable areas.

“This investment from the NSW Government represents the largest ongoing commitment in our agency’s history. We need to be as prepared as possible for severe flooding. Long-range forecasts indicate we may see above-average rainfall in coastal areas between July and September. We want people to know their risks, get prepared, and follow all advice from NSW SES,” Platz said.

In parallel, the government said it is advancing more than 100 infrastructure projects under the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Evacuation Road Resilience program. Notably, the construction industry is now invited to submit proposals for the Pitt Town bypass, aimed at reducing congestion and facilitating faster evacuations during floods. The major construction contract is expected to be awarded by 2025.

The Driftway and Londonderry Road intersection upgrade has also been expedited as part of an election commitment, with construction slated to begin in 2025. This project will add a new roundabout and an additional lane to increase road capacity during evacuations.

Additionally, Transport for NSW will engage with industry for the New Richmond Bridge and Traffic Improvements Project, a $500 million initiative in collaboration with the Australian Government. The new bridge, designed to withstand a one-in-20-year flood, will be approximately 10 meters higher than the existing crossing of the Hawkesbury River.

These road upgrades form part of a broader $200 million commitment to improving evacuation routes in the flood-prone Hawkesbury-Nepean area.

 

Keep Updated

Local News
VIEW All >

Winterfest

Winterfest

Huge crowds descended on Clarendon Showgrounds...

Parking Madness

Parking Madness

Local businesses around shopping precincts in...

REAL ESTATE
VIEW All >

WHAT'S ON
VIEW All >

Winterfest

Winterfest

Huge crowds descended on Clarendon Showgrounds...