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  • Writer's pictureContributed

'The comments are uninformed without any local knowledge'

LOCATION: Bendigo Victoria

SUBJECT: Development on floodplains

SPECIFICS: Application by Victory College to build a school in flood-prone land in Sargeants Rd, Huntly

As a long-term resident of Huntly who has farmed in the area all my life, I feel I must add to comments on the Victory College proposal in our area.

The comments by the principal are uninformed and without any local knowledge of the issues that will complicate the building and operation of this facility.

As Ms Rogers concedes, the site’s Station St end is low, flood prone and has an LSI0 (land subject to inundation) over a little more than 50 per cent. The rest of it has a SBO (Special Building Overlay).

In statements attributed to her that flooding will be reduced and controlled indicates that whoever is giving her that advice clearly does not understand the dynamics of waterflows in the area.

I am not sure what a detention basin is, however, retention basins in the area have been proven to have little impact on the impact of flooding in the flood plain.

I have observed 300mm of water over the Station St/Sargeants Rd intersection that is overtopping Back Creek with road closed signs at the highway and along Station St. With the existing congestion along the highway, how on earth is traffic going to be managed considering the school and the proposed new subdivisions in Huntly if Station St is closed off due to flooding? It should be noted that people in the Homestead estate cannot exit via Station St during times of flooding.

We don’t want another congested site like the Epsom school experiences. That should never had been built there.

The lower part of the site is approximately five and a half metres lower than the Bendigo Creek and in recent floods, seven and a half meters below the flood height.

The site is also a discharge area for a “prior stream” that was filled in by tailings from floods during the mining era. This water seeps through this underground site and discharges saline water into the ground water and lower parts of the paddock. This is indicated by the spiney rush and the sea barley grass that predominates the area.

This stream passes the recreation reserve and if one looks at aerial images it is quite clear that it has an adverse impact on the turf. It is also a contributor to the water main failures along the highway in the same area. The same problems will occur with any recreational areas with the maintenance of turf a real problem. Even if the soils are built up the salt will still rise and inhibit the growth of grasses.

The high ground water tables will complicate construction with the same problems as are being encountered in the nearby Wellsford estate, where engineering problems and cost overruns have plagued the project, to the extent that one contractor told me that it should never had been developed.

Follow the money trail. I hope they have deep pockets.



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