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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Flood inquiry recommendations to be implemented

Councils, including Eurobodalla Council, are being encouraged to review the Independent Flood Inquiry report into the major floods of earlier this year, which was released on Wednesday. The report includes 28 recommendations, a number of which impact local government. The report can be found at: Alison Worthington, Councillor at Eurobodalla Shire Council, is passionate about enacting robust climate mitigation and adaptation plans so that our communities are safe and are resilient to the challenges of the changing climate. Earlier this year, she called for increased local government funding for responding to climate impacts. The NSW Government say they will implement some of the recommendations immediately, while others will be implemented in stages. Of concern to many is the news earlier this week from the Bureau of Meteorology declaring a La Niña ‘Alert’ warning of the potential for a third consecutive year of extreme rainfall and flooding In response to the Independent Flood Inquiry report Councillor Worthington said: "The release this week of the response to the NSW Independent Flood Inquiry tells us that we need a whole of government and whole of nation response to the increasing frequency of extreme weather disasters fuelled by climate change.

"It tells us that our adaptation approach must move from a focus on recovery to investment in proactive resilience-planning along with climate action and mitigation.

"I’m speaking from the Eurobodalla, a community hit so very hard by the Black Summer fires and then nine more natural disasters in flooding. I can tell you that residents here know that we can’t continue on the treadmill of disaster recovery and response with another largely ignored inquiry in between.

"Communities across NSW need to know the recommendations of this Inquiry will be urgently implemented.

"We know that laying blame on the immediate response from SES is wrong and that instead this just alerts us to the need for a whole of government response to reduce the impact of these disasters.

"These disasters take a heavy toll on the health, well-being and livelihoods of our residents, and cost the government billions of dollars in clean-up, recovery, and disaster payment costs. This is ongoing and the windows for recovery between events is often frighteningly small", Councillor Worthington said.

"Climate change is worsening floods and other extreme weather disasters in New South Wales.

"Remarkably in the context of the costs of extreme weather disasters in NSW growing, the state government is also sitting on decisions for several coal and gas projects including a doubling of the output of the Mt Pleasant coal mine in Muswellbrook, an expansion of Whitehaven’s Narrabri coal mine, and a new Glencore mine in the Hunter.

"There can be no new coal and gas if we are to achieve the rapid, deep emissions reductions needed to address climate change. Our communities need to call on the NSW Government must ban new coal and gas projects, and pursue a rapid transition to renewable energy instead."

"We know that climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of short, intense downpours. This makes predicting the maximum flood line impossible. It’s time to address the mistakes of the past in terms of building in flood-prone lands and to get realistic in preparing for what's to come.

"This must include reforming our planning laws, building construction and land use regulations as we work towards reducing people's vulnerability and exposure to these extreme events and building more resilient communities.

"The people of NSW need to know that our government will report on the implementation status of these recommendations every three months. They need a date set for when the recommendations will be fully implemented.

"These inquiries are only useful when their findings are put to use".


NOTE: Comments were TRIALED - in the end it failed as humans will be humans and it turned into a pile of merde; only contributed to by just a handful who did little to add to the conversation of the issue at hand. Anyone who would like to contribute an opinion are encouraged to send in a Letter to the Editor where it might be considered for publication

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