The New South Wales State Government will spend $71.5 million on repairs to flood mitigation infrastructure in the Hunter Valley.
Almost a quarter of these funds, $21.5 million, will be reinvested into the New South Wales Budget for planned maintenance and additional resources, to ensure Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme’s continued readiness in responding to natural disasters.
The scheme was built after the disastrous Hunter River flood of 1955 and includes:
- 185km of levees and control banks
- 3.8km of spillways
- 165km of drainage channels
- 259 floodgates
- 36km bank protection works
State Minister for Lands and Water, Kevin Anderson, said the Hunter Valley has experienced significant flooding recently and flood mitigation infrastructure has remained strong, reducing the risk to life and property.
“This scheme plays a vital role in minimising the impact of flooding for more than 250,000 people across Hunter Valley including Maitland, Raymond Terrace, Singleton and Aberdeen,” Mr Anderson said.
“This funding will allow us to remediate around 5km of riverbank across 14 separate sites on the Hunter, Paterson and Williams Rivers.
“We are still assessing the damage caused by the major flooding in July, but the community can rest assured that any further repairs that are needed will be identified and funded as a priority.
“The floodgates, levees, spillways, drainage channels and bank protection work in place under this scheme, has reduced the impact of flooding in the Hunter.”
Member for Upper Hunter, Dave Layzell, said the importance of maintaining fundamental infrastructure like the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation scheme cannot be underestimated.
“By investing in the upkeep of flood mitigation infrastructure, we’re ensuring the Hunter Valley is in the best position to weather the next storm,” Mr Layzell said.
“The scheme puts the safety of people, property and infrastructure front and centre and protects rural areas and major towns from minor to moderate flooding.
“From droughts to bushfires and floods, regional New South Wales has faced a number of natural disasters in recent years and each time we emerge stronger and more resilient.”
The investigation and design work needed to facilitate these complex repairs is expected to be complete by June 2023. Urgent repair works are already underway at a number of locations and further critical sites will be repaired as a priority.