Dyke idea dreamt up by consultants devoid of commonsense, says Watson

THE idea to build a levee bank around Greenwell Point to protect the town from flooding is just that – an idea.

It was one of a number of ideas consultants came up with as part of a lower Shoalhaven River flood plain study in 2008.

Following up on the study council has hired another consultant to send out a questionnaire to Greenwell Point residents. 

The results of the questionnaire will be discussed at a community workshop on Thursday, June 26 at the town’s community hall.

Shoalhaven City Council director of planning and development services group Tim Fletcher said many different ideas were put forward as part of the 2008 study.

“The consultants recommended council investigate a series of small levees as one of a number of options,” he said. 

“Other recommendations included raising the level of Greenwell Point Road, evacuation plans, raising floor heights and doing nothing.”

A number of the more far-fetched ideas caught the attention of Cr Greg Watson, who suggested a little commonsense on the issue would have gone a long way.

He said some of the ideas the consultants came up with were a sign commonsense was becoming a rare commodity.

“I don’t believe the council staff is any way at fault on this,” he said.

“This is what comes of employing consultants. They came up with the concept of putting a dyke around Greenwell Point.

“You could just imagine the issues it would cause. There are a lot of waterfront properties so you’d end up having to acquire to the backyards of some properties to do that.

“I’m sure some people sitting in an office writing memos to themselves think it’s a good idea, but it lacks commonsense.” 

He said raising 10 kilometres of Greenwell Point Road, another suggestion from the consultants, was likely to end in disaster.

“Forgetting the cost of doing that, you’re building another dyke and stopping the floodwater from crossing the floodplain. 

“It probably behoves us to be a little more careful as a council to make sure we are putting a proper sieve on these things before they’re put out to the community,” Mr Watson said.

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