Colac Otway Shire councillors have unanimously agreed to defer a decision on a proposed flood amendment, amid concerns about its accuracy.
An Elliminyt landowner, who was one of four landowners who challenged the proposed C90 amendment at last month’s council meeting, asked why his dam was the only part of his block which wasn’t in a flood zone according to the new computer-generated mapping.
Another resident said the council could reduce flood risks by addressing drainage issues, while landowners also raised concerns about the impact of flood overlays and possible increased red tape.
Council officers, after lengthy questioning from residents and councillors, eventually admitted the new computer-generated mapping couldn’t be “100-per-cent accurate” and councillors voted unanimously at their last meeting to defer a decision on a proposed C90 flood amendment.
Councillors have also committed to trying to avoid imposing additional flood overlays on properties.
The councillors had listened to four frustrated landowners raise concerns during question time and challenge the accuracy of the new flood mapping, with 14 unresolved submissions before them.
Officers struggled to provide answers, including an explanation of how much rain would have to fall to create a one-in-a-100 year flood which was the basis of the flood-zone modelling.
One of the concerns raised came from a resident who told councillors that she and her husband had contacted the council before buying their Pound Road block, which had a small area along the front marked “flood prone”, and a planning officer had reassured her that the block would be “fine” to build on.
But six years on, after building their house, the proposed flood amendment placed the couple’s entire property in a flood inundation zone, except their dam.
“How does a family plan in Colac with such contradictory response from Colac Otway Shire Council?” she asked the council, while her husband questioned whether they should have built their house on the site of their dam.
A council officer responded that the amendment aimed to “provide certainty”, pointing out there were 136 properties that had benefited from the new modelling by no longer being in inundation zones.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.