The NT Department of Lands, Planning and Environment has undertaken a huge drain cleaning project which removed 18,000 tonnes of sediment from the Ludmilla Creek trunk drain at a cost of more than $1.5million.
The project also removed 700 tonnes of sediment from The Narrows in Darwin, which had built up over decades.
The sediment removed from The Narrows was the equivalent to roughly 2800 box trailer loads, and cost $300,000 to remove.
Lands and Planning Minister and Member for Fong Lim, David Tollner, said, “It was ridiculously overdue for a clean-out and the Government has been determined to get it done.
“This has been a massive effort by the Department of Lands, Planning and Environment and there’s a lot more to be done, but in this first instance, at least now we’ve got some clear storm drainage in the area.”
Extensive clearing operations of the Ludmilla Creek trunk drain saw the department working closely with the local community and key stakeholders such as the Ludmilla Land Care group to address any concerns during the delivery of the project, which involved the construction of a temporary access road.
These works come after the Northern Territory Government made a commitment to mitigate flood-prone areas of Darwin.
“This recent work on the drain will contribute towards mitigating flooding in this area which has occurred during relatively small rain events in the past,” Mr Tollner said.
“The build-up of sediment reduces the discharge capacity of the local drainage network, causing stormwater to back up and flood overland through properties. After years of neglect this Government is fixing the issue through simple drain clearing.”
Investigations are currently underway to design the final stage of the work at Ludmilla which will involve extension of the drain to the tidal reaches of Ludmilla Creek to allow it to become self-flushing.
This final stage is due to be completed by the end of the 2016 Dry Season.