No levee management plan 12 months on from River Murray Flood

The Liberal Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to urgently implement a River Murray levee management plan after it was revealed that despite 12 months since the peak of the River Murray Flood, virtually nothing has been done. 

Startling evidence provided by Department of Environment and Water (DEW) officials at a Select Committee hearing into the 2022-23 River Murray Flood Event confirmed that not even preliminary works for a levee management plan have started. 

Shadow Minister for Water Resources and the River Murray and Chair of the Committee, Nicola Centofanti, said she was dismayed that DEW is still no wiser about ongoing levee management this far on from the flood event.

"It's been 12 months since the peak of the flood, so what has the government been doing all year? I struggle to understand why the basic work to establish a framework for levees into the future has not been done," Dr Centofanti said.

"The State and Federal Governments committed $6 million in June to upgrade the state's levee system and develop a much-needed levee maintenance and management regime. We keep hearing commitments, but this is not backed up by action.

"This should have been a priority for the Malinauskas Labor Government and if it had been, maybe the breaching of six Lower Murray levees back in September would not have happened."

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and Member for Hammond, Adrian Pederick, said he fails to comprehend how such little work has been done given how important the state's levee system is.

"The Malinauskas Labor Government were happy to fly in to flood affected areas and take selfies when the River was flooding - but since the water has receded they have been missing in action," Mr Pederick said. 

"The Government needs to come up with a clear plan for the levees moving forward which includes factors like what height the levees should be built to and maintained at, what clay sources are suitable and the funding arrangements. 

"Landowners along the 110 kilometres of levees need assurance the government has a plan going forward to better manage flooding events in the future. The also need certainty they will be able to operate their businesses in the years to come." 

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  • Adrian Pederick