The Legislative Council’s Environment and Planning Committee has now opened public submissions for the Inquiry into the 2022 Flood Event in Victoria, established after the passing of a Liberals and Nationals motion during the last parliamentary sitting week.
The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, is calling on those impacted across the Goulburn, Broken and Murray systems to make a submission.
“This inquiry has the ability to make crucial recommendations and ensure our region is better prepared and protected against flood events,” Ms Cleeland said.
“It is vital local voices are heard. Businesses and individuals have a great opportunity to voice their concerns and push for change.
“The majority of the committee driving this inquiry reside in metropolitan electorates. They need our voice and submissions to understand how regional communities are threatened without substantial improvements in flood prevention, response and recovery.”
Individuals and organisations addressing one or more of the issues identified in the terms of reference can make a submission before the closing date on May 8.
The committee has also indicated a willingness to hold public hearings in flood impacted communities.
“We must hear directly from as many people as possible who were affected by the October floods,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Your insights and feedback will be essential in helping us to understand the true impact and what we need to improve to better protect our communities in the future.
“Alongside my National Party colleagues, we will be advocating strongly for public hearings in towns like Seymour, Murchison, Heathcote and Euroa,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Too often regional voices are ignored. It is imperative this committee leaves the city and meets firsthand with those on the front lines to understand the ongoing impact of the October floods.
“There is no easy way to flood proof communities but if we continue to do the same we’ll get the same results.”
The inquiry terms of reference include the ‘location, funding, maintenance and effectiveness of engineered structures, such as floodwalls, rural levees and culverts, as a flood mitigation strategy.’
“While the impacts of the floods will continue to be felt for a long time, we need to start having discussions about how to mitigate risks into the future,” Ms Cleeland said.
“So many businesses and homes were already uninsurable and many more will be in that situation as a result of the October floods.
“If this inquiry is successful, it will provide a path forward for towns like Seymour who will continue to face the prospect of extensive flooding as the climate becomes more variable.”
To find the full terms of reference of the committee or make a submission visit https://new.parliament.vic.gov.au/get-involved/inquiries/floodinquiry.