Recent drainage improvements in Baldwin Creek. Source: Bundaberg Regional Council.
Recent drainage improvements in Baldwin Creek. Source: Bundaberg Regional Council.

Stormwater management: Which projects take priority

The Bundaberg Regional Council adopted a 10-year Stormwater Management Strategy to tackle the region's stormwater network requirements at yesterday's ordinary meeting.

The strategy was described as providing a clear direction to prioritise works ahead of budget deliberations.

Roads and Drainage portfolio spokesperson Cr Bill Trevor said the strategy had introduced an assessment framework that would determine which projects would take precedence.

The 10-year Stormwater Management Strategy is said to deliver "a consistent and transparent approach" to identifying and prioritising future expenditure, with first priority the protection of human life and property, followed by flood mitigation and environmental benefit.

The strategy aims to progressively reduce risk and improve community resilience with clear actions and accountabilities, and maximising environmental health of waterways, social amenity, pollution control, affordability and minimising impacts of a changing climate.

Cr Trevor said in developing the strategy about 150 potential capital projects were identified, "further demonstrating how essential it is to approach future drainage works strategically".

"Under the strategy we will prioritise safety and flooding above floor level," Cr Trevor said.

"The assessment framework encased in the stormwater strategy will ensure this is balanced by the financial benefit or in other words the value for money.

"We want to make sure that the areas in which we are allocating the capital works budget benefit as many residents as possible or the residents who are most in need.

"This framework captures the benefits, deficits and costs associated with each project using a simple scoring system.

"The score for each project is summarised in a ranked list which will support decisions regarding future stormwater investment."

He said the strategy would also ensure council was looking forward and proactively and sustainably managing the stormwater network.

"For many years drainage issues have been dealt with reactively due to limited information, strategy and budget," Cr Trevor said.

"In more recent times council has delivered record capital works budgets to address stormwater drainage issues but we recognise that a more strategic and sustainable approach is required in the long term.

"The stormwater strategy will enable council to deliver a service that caters for future growth while maintaining and improving existing stormwater infrastructure.

"Through targeted maintenance and renewal, the strategy aims to future proof our stormwater network while minimising risk and improving safety during future weather events."

The 10-year Stormwater Management Strategy will deliver:

  • An overarching vision for the long-term management of stormwater
  • A consistent and transparent approach to identifying and prioritising future expenditure, with first priority the protection of human life and property, followed by flood mitigation and environmental benefit.
  • A commitment to progressively reduce risk and improve community resilience with clear actions and accountabilities
  • Maximising environmental health of waterways, social amenity, pollution control, affordability and minimising impacts of a changing climate.

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