Wednesday Evening 26th June 2019
Discussion of draft
Picton CBD Emergency Flood Response Initiative
On the 3rd anniversary of the disastrous storm which devastated Picton businesses and residents, the Picton Chamber of Commerce discussed the creation of an Emergency Flood Response Initiative.
The June 2016 storm event saw every business in the main street and many businesses and residents abandoning years of built up hard work to the highest water levels in living memory.
The local government’s response has been to conduct a study into the cause and possible mitigation possibilities. To date, the Chamber is unaware of any definitive plans for a response to a similar event should Picton find itself in a similar scenario.
While we await outcomes from those studies the Executive has decided to move matters to the fore by inviting all stakeholders invested in the protection of Picton businesses and property to join together with the express purpose of coordinating an Emergency Action Plan in the likelihood that weather conditions look like repeating the events of June 2016.
In attendance was the Mayor Matthew Deeth and other Council officers, SES Area Commander Ngaire McCarthy and assistant officers as well as members of the Chamber of Commerce.
Presenting initiatives for discussion was Chamber Executive member Geoff O’Brien. It was noted that almost all townships and districts in states other than NSW have multi-stage warning procedures well documented. One of the eye opening facts mentioned on the night was that computer modelling the catchment flow through Picton using scenarios where Stonequarry Creek had a significant reduction in debris and privet resulted in a high water mark being reduced by only a few centremetres. This will come as a disappointment to many who have argued the need to clean out the creek as a solution to future proof the town from storm events.
Noted at the meeting was the surprise of businesses and residents that storm waters approached from the Hume Oval when all attention was focussed at the bridge near the George IV Inn. Early warning detection in areas other than those already monitored will be one element of the initiative Chamber will be requesting authorities remedy.
The meeting ended after agreement by all parties to continue the initiative by formerly asking for the Council to incorporate the Chamber’s initiatives as a chapter in the official storm study and officially ask for the SES to join the initiative.
The Chamber thanks all participants and looks forward to working together to ensure the maximum safety for the community and minimum loss of property should a similar event take place.