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Published Friday 19 July 2019
Tags:General, Media Release

Seymour flood levee project update

Mitchell Shire Council will invite community feedback on the progression of the proposed Seymour Flood Levee project through a targeted community engagement campaign.

The prospect of a flood protection levee for Seymour has been discussed and investigated over many years, and further planning work has identified the cost of progressing the levee is estimated at $20 million.

Through a community engagement process, Council wants to understand the level of landholder and community support for the levee so it can be informed about the next steps to take.

Further, Council wants to understand a willingness by effected landholders who will directly benefit from the construction of the levee to contribute funding through a Special Charge Scheme* (Please see note 1).

Council will undertake an extensive engagement program with the community to understand views on the levee. The process will begin in five weeks’ time.

A levee, by design, would provide protection to part of the Seymour township, property, buildings, essential services and residents against a 1-in-100-year flood from the Goulburn River. It’s estimated that more than 300 properties are vulnerable in such an event, including a large part of Seymour's commercial business activities and essential services, as well as the hospital and police station.

The engagement program is expected to commence in August. Council will keep the community informed of the next stages of the program and will engage directly with impacted landholders and those who may be affected through a Special Charge Scheme.

Quotes attributable to Mitchell Shire Mayor Councillor Bill Chisholm

“Having a targeted specialist and structured engagement program will give the community and affected landholders in the flood zone the opportunity to provide comment on the levee proposal. This will be valuable for Council to make an informed decision on the future of the project,” he said.

“Increased protection from flooding offered by the levee project will provide an opportunity to review the existing flood zoning and overlays which have restricted development in the area and will offer enhanced access to parts of Seymour that are not currently accessible.

“We’ve undertaken a number of investigations to determine the best alignment for the levee and to examine the areas of land that may need to be acquired to construct the levee and its associated works, and we’re now looking to gauge the community interest in proceeding with the project.”

Note 1: A Special Charge Scheme is an arrangement under the Local Government Act 1989 that allows Councils to recover the cost of works from property owners who will gain special benefit from that work. Under the Act, the amount charged must be proportional to the ‘benefit’. In the case of a levee, benefit is defined as ‘Flood Protection’. This means that property owners benefiting from the levee could be asked to pay to a Special Charge, and the amount of this would be based on the size of their property. Owners would have up to 10 years to pay the Special Charge and would be attached to the land which means it will apply to future owners.