In England and homesick for Australia, Dorothea MacKellar wrote about a land that was both parched by droughts, but also flooded by rains. The devastation of flood and drought is a reality for this continent and its moody weather. With a spate of recent floods still at the forefront of our minds, it’s good to know there are measures being taken to strengthen the areas most affected.
The recent slew of summer storms has brought welcome rain in some areas but a more sinister gift in others. Early January saw large parts of eastern NSW affected by sudden flooding, leading to rescues, evacuations and hundreds of calls for help. And while there is much available for personal hardship as well as the option of concessional loans and grants, there are also efforts to reduce the likelihood of further destruction.
Grants for Floodplain Management recently opened, which is an opportunity for communities to reduce the impact of flooding. The funding is designed to assist major projects such a levees and flood gates. For example, Wagga Wagga City Council received $2 million to upgrade its flood levee protection system, thereby minimising the potential destruction of local infrastructure.
Open ‘til 17 March, applications can also propose flood and risk management studies, as well as evacuation management systems. For more information visit: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/coasts/Floodgrants.htm