The levee bank along the Murrumbidgee River at Wagga Wagga will be heightened and strengthened under a $10 million plan unveiled today by local Nationals’ MP Michael McCormack and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
The city’s levee bank, which sits just one street back from Wagga Wagga’s bustling Central Business District, came within centimetres of inundating the city during the 2012 flood event. As a result, more than 1,000 homes and businesses were evacuated as a precaution.
“Many Wagga Wagga people remember just how close our city came to inundation during the 2012 floods and how vital the levee bank upgrade is to safeguarding Wagga Wagga’s future,” Mr McCormack said.
“All of us were standing ready to help – the Army was patrolling the main street and I remember heading into the ABC Riverina studios with my sons to help ensure the protection of sound equipment as many other businesses also protected their valuables and
“Luckily, the CBD escaped inundation – just. We dodged a bullet. But the message of the people of Wagga Wagga was clear – the levee bank needs upgrading,”
“I have fought hard for this commitment am delighted The Nationals in Government will be able to secure the city’s future with a proper, costed, long-term investment in Wagga Wagga’s levee bank.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals’ Leader Barnaby Joyce praised the community’s resilience during the floods and the proactive effort to plan for the city’s future through the levee bank upgrade.
“Wagga Wagga is a vibrant and growing regional city and I admire the way local MP Michael McCormack, the NSW Government, Wagga Wagga City Council and the community have all worked together to help make this project a reality,” Minister Joyce said.
“The Nationals understand the importance of many groups working together for the betterment of their community and I am pleased the Federal Government can help support this vital project.”
Wagga Wagga Mayor Rod Kendall praised the Federal Government’s investment, saying it will help Council deliver the total upgrade sooner and at less cost to the ratepayer.
“I congratulate the Federal Government for understanding how vital this project is for Wagga Wagga’s future,” Cr Kendall said.
“This much-needed $10m injection from the Federal Government will help Council deliver the upgrade sooner with less cost to the city’s ratepayers,” Cr Kendall said.
This Federal Government investment complements more than $3.4 million in the upgrade from the NSW Coalition Government.
“Michael McCormack and I have worked hard together to get projects happening around the region since we both came to Government,” State MP for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire said.
“This is just another example of what can happen when Wagga Wagga has local members at the table in Government, taking the cause of our region to our parliaments and getting the attention we deserve. I know that this commitment will help the community continue to work together and get the levee bank upgrade finally happening for the city.”
The $10m will be delivered under a re-elected Turnbull-Joyce Coalition Government.