A newly installed flood warning sign near Hovells Creek on Rennie Street, Lara.
A newly installed flood warning sign near Hovells Creek on Rennie Street, Lara.

Lara flood study to seek community input

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Lara residents will be invited to contribute their first-hand experiences of flooding as part of a detailed Lara Flood Study being led by the City of Greater Geelong.

The study will be funded by the state government (up to $500,000) and the City ($250,000), with input from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and the SES.

It has been identified as a priority of the recently developed Corangamite CMA Regional Floodplain Management Strategy, and will result in detailed flood maps of the Hovells Creek Catchment.

This will help authorities to better understand the flood risks in and around Lara, leading to improved land use planning, better emergency planning and response, and community preparation.

Community input sessions will be advertised via local print media and on social media in the coming months.

A specialist consultant has been appointed to undertake the study, which is expected to take 12 months to complete.

On Thursday 5 July, Windermere Ward councillor Anthony Aitken joined Member for Lara, The Hon. John Eren MP, and representatives of the SES and Corangamite CMA, to mark the installation of a new flood warning system on Rennie Street.

This system will improve driver safety at the crossings of Hovells Creek, where drivers are occasionally tempted to put themselves at risk by driving through flood water.

It features flashing signs that are automatically activated when water from Hovells Creek reaches the road, while rain and flood height gauges also alert authorities, allowing them to respond more quickly to potential emergency situations.

Should the creek threaten the nearby Princes Freeway, an SMS is also sent to local VicRoads officers.

The project has been jointly funded by the City ($20,000), the state government ($16,000) and the federal government ($16,000).

Mayor Bruce Harwood:

The Hovells Creek Catchment is one of the City’s largest drainage catchments at 230 square kilometres in size. Creek flooding can occur within as little as 6-7 hours of rainfall into the catchment, and with Lara’s growing urban population, there’s also an increased risk of stormwater flooding.

Given the significant cost of flooding to the community, we are pleased to be taking proactive action to help reduce the risks.

Cr Anthony Aitken, Windermere Ward:

Floods can have a devastating impact on our communities. Hovells Creek has a long history of flooding, and it’s important that all Lara residents have the information they need to understand and prepare for the local flood risk.

With the support of the state government, Council is continuing to invest in projects that help us to better understand, manage and respond to flooding, with the aim of keeping our community safe.