Major funding is being provided to communities in the Upper Hunter to help prepare and protect from future flood events.
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said Upper Hunter Shire Council will receive $120,000 under the Floodplain Grants Scheme to implement a review of the Scone floodplain risk management study and plan.
It forms part of $1.8 million in joint Commonwealth-State funding to support local councils and other government bodies in their efforts to strengthen flood protection plans across their local communities.
As part of the review, the existing Scone bypass flood study and Aberdeen flood study will be consolidated into one single source of information.
“It might seem strange to people that in the middle of a drought we’re delivering this funding to protect us from flood, but now is the time we need to prepare for disaster events like this, not when floodwaters are lapping at our doorstep,” Mr Joyce said.
“The last plan was nearly 20 years ago, so it’s important we get this done so we’re able to deliver the most effective flood management strategy we can for people in the Upper Hunter.
“It works hand in glove with other major projects we’re funding around the Upper Hunter including the $137 million Scone Bypass, the $11.8 million redevelopment of Scone Regional Livestock Selling Centre, the $12.1 million upgrade of Merriwa to Willow Tree Road and the recently completed $2.3 million Middlebrook Bridge.”
A further $5.1 million is also allocated for the NSW Government Floodplain Management Program that enables government bodies with floodplain risk management responsibilities to undertake priority projects.
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds, who has responsibility for Commonwealth disaster assistance, said the Commonwealth and NSW governments were working together to better mitigate flood risks.
"Floods can have a devastating impact on local communities by causing major damage to property, infrastructure, and most tragically, through the loss of life," Assistant Minister Reynolds said. "That is exactly why we have invested the money for local councils to prepare now should the worst happen later."