Media Releases

09
Mar

VIC GOVT NEEDS TO GIVE CLARIFICATION OVER LEVEE BANK RESPONSIBILITY

Strathmerton-region residents want to know who is ultimately responsible for the area’s levee banks, with the Labor Government so far being vague on the issue, so Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell used this week’s parliament sitting to call on the Minister for clarity.
“I visited Strathmerton last week, at the request of local community members who have serious concerns regarding ongoing maintenance of the levee systems in their area, which is prone to flooding,” Ms Lovell said.
“A couple of local residents showed me some of the worst parts of the bank and highlighted a number of issues that need to be rectified, including addressing anthills, removing sucker trees, filling burrows and filling depressions where the levee has eroded.
“The community is anxious for this work to be done quickly, considering flood season is only a few months away now, yet are unable to action any works because they cannot clarify who is responsible for the works.”
Ms Lovell said the community is seeking clarification on whether it is the responsibility of the state government, local government or other, and is reliant on the Minister for Water for explicit guidance on the issue.
Ms Lovell said the community is also unsure who bears the responsibility for opening and closing the penstocks within the levee system, and require explicit clarification from the Minister regarding this also.
Ms Lovell has previously attempted to get the matter of levee responsibility clarified for local communities, but the Minister for Water has failed to provide a definitive response and has just referred Ms Lovell and the community back to the Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy, which is not explicit on the role and responsibilities of agencies in the management of individual levees.
“I have requested that the Minister or her department provide the Strathmerton community with an explicit, definitive answer on who is responsible for the maintenance of levee banks in the area, including how the community can apply for a permit to carry out maintenance on the levee system,” Ms Lovell said.

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