Iron bark creek flood gates, Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme. Image courtesy of New South Wales Government.

After five major flood events since March 2021, the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme has provided key flood mitigation infrastructure to protect communities, with works and repairs underway to prepare for the next extreme weather event.

New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment, Chief Operating Officer for Water, Graham Attenborough, said the infrastructure has been invaluable in helping to minimise the impact of flooding for more than 250,000 people in 2022.

“Off the back of the unrelenting wet weather it’s no surprise the scheme has sustained damage, but the team have been working overtime to ensure the scheme is flood ready,” Mr Attenborough said.

“Initial repairs have already been completed to reinforce vital infrastructure at the Raymond Terrace Timber Pile wall and Maitland Ring levee.

“Other critical work is currently underway at Maitland Horseshoe Bend and Pitnacree levees and Brisbane Field Road with these repairs expected to be complete before the end of 2022.

“The temporary repairs will allow the scheme to continue to operate, reducing the risk to life and property by controlling the velocity, direction and depth of floodwaters while giving us the time to adequately plan and finish designs for permanent repairs and upgrades.”

The tender to complete the investigation and design work on the bank remediation, needed at 14 different sites along the Paterson, Williams and Hunter Rivers, is close to being awarded.

Planning for these permanent repairs is already underway and is expected to take around nine months to finalise, before the majority of construction can begin.

“The way the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme floodgates, levees, spillways, drainage channels and bank protection work in the face of relentless flooding is a testament to its design and maintenance,” Mr Attenborough said.

“By continuing the vital upkeep of this infrastructure, it should give people across the Hunter, including Maitland, Raymond Terrace, Singleton and Aberdeen, confidence that they can weather the next storm.

“I would like to thank the Hunter Valley community who have informed us of damages to the levees and riverbanks from the recent floods and helped with the recovery efforts for repairs.”

Featured Image: Iron bark creek flood gates, Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme. Image courtesy of New South Wales Government.

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