Community News

Draft policy on levee protection released for comment

A policy that would give Clarence Valley Council staff more certainty when considering works near flood levees around the Clarence Valley has been released for public comment. Floodplain engineer, Kieran McAndrew, said that when levees were constructed in urban areas like Grafton in the 1960s and ’70s they often zigzagged around private property – sometimes under verandahs and stairs or other difficult-to-reach locations. “In the first decade or so after the construction of the levees developments were often approved close to the levees,” he said. “This continued to hinder access and potentially compromised the levee. “Since then conditions have been put on developments to ensure that doesn’t happen again. “The aim of the draft policy is to formalise that position. “It will mean council’s requirements are immediately clear for any resident considering works close to levees.” Mr McAndrew said council staff had been informed by the NSW Office of Emergency Management that as from July 1 the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) would be replaced with a new disaster funding model known as the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). “We understand the new arrangements will require evidence of pre-disaster condition of the damaged infrastructure and that the evidence can be no more than four years old. “This means council staff will be required to inspect and photograph the condition of all levees routinely. This draft policy will ensure access to our levees (for example located underneath decks) is always available.” The draft policy will be open for comment until Friday, May 25. Copies are available under “On exhibition” or at council’s customer service centres in Grafton and Maclean. Written submissions can be made by emailing or by writing to The General Manager, Clarence Valley Council, Locked Bag 23, Grafton, 2460.