Council needs community’s help to check flood maps

02 June 2017, 12:00 AM

Media release

If Colac and Elliminyt was to experience a one in 100 year flood, approximately one in six residential and commercial properties would be at risk of overland flooding.

These are the findings of new flood mapping prepared by Colac Otway Shire Council for a stormwater development strategy.

The purpose of the strategy is to help guide Council’s investment in stormwater infrastructure renewal on a strategic priority basis. The strategy will also help identify what sort of infrastructure is required to mitigate the effects of flooding in new areas of development.

Chief Executive Officer Sue Wilkinson called for the community’s help to check the accuracy of the maps, which were developed using layers of geographic information including details of the existing drainage network.

“The first phase of mapping uses technology that takes into account things like contours, slopes, existing development and land uses to create a model that predicts the impact of various storm events,” she said.

“The next second step of the mapping is to ask our community to help us ‘ground truth’ our modelling,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“We need to draw on the community’s memories of past floods so we can check that the technology matches what’s been seen on the ground over the years.

“We are calling on people to come along to our drop-in session to talk to our mapping experts.”

Ms Wilkinson said one of the challenges of stormwater in any town or city was that it often grew in segments over time without the guidance of an overall plan.

“Given the growth projections that exist for Colac, we believe that a stormwater strategy is an important step towards ensuring that the right planning is in place to help Colac accommodate new housing development and population growth,” she said.

“This strategy is going to feed into the Colac 2050 growth plan, which is based on Colac’s population growing to 20,000 people by 2050.

“The stormwater strategy may also include recommendations for planning controls such as special building overlays, to ensure any future developments have measures in place to reduce flood risks to new buildings.”

The drop in session is scheduled from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, 2 May in the COPACC foyer. Bookings are recommended but not necessary. For further information contact Development Engineer John Furleo on 5232 9400.