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BFR Newsletter No 16 30 March

BFR Newsletter No 16 30 March

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Published by: jules67 on Apr 01, 2011
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Issue No 16
30 March 2011
The apparent inconsistency of insurance companies has probably been the talking point ofthe Shire for the last week following policy holders from one insurance company beingadvised that their claims had been denied, when neighbours insured with another insurerhave had their claim accepted. This apparent inconsistency is inexplicable given thateveryone was affected by the same flood. Local meetings to discuss the situation are takingplace in Charlton this week. Home owners in this situation are advised to contact theFinancial Ombudsman Service on 1300 78 08 08 to lodge a dispute.On a more positive note it is pleasing to report that the Victorian Government has allocated$150,000 to undertake a flood protection study of Charlton. The study is to be jointlyauspiced by the North Central Catchment Management Authority and Council. Details of theterms of reference for the study and community consultation arrangements will beannounced soon. Council believes similar studies should be undertaken for Donald,Wycheproof and Culgoa but are pleased that at least one Buloke town is to benefit from acomprehensive study of the January flood and the identification of possible flood protectionmeasures.The receipt of advice this week from Powercor that it is looking at how to best protect theCharlton substation from a future flood event is also pleasing. Many in the Charltoncommunity see this as one of the most important responses to the January flood.I also had the opportunity this week to inspect progress on construction of the temporaryHospital facility in Charlton. Work on this facility is progressing quickly, and I was impressedby the quality of the fit out and the layout of the buildings. While the temporary facility willnot provide all of the services previously available from the Hospital, it will go a long way toensuring the local community has access to needed health facilities.
„Blazeaid‟ are starting to have a real impact in rural areas of the Shire. At the beginning o
this week they report that they have assisted in clearing 81.7kms of fencing and replacing49.8kms
of fence. This is a great effort by this volunteer organisation. „Blazeaid‟ is always
looking for more volunteers so if anyone is looking to donate some time to assisting rural
families just drop down to the „Blazeaid‟ camp at Charlton Park.
 One of the most interesting aspects of the last week was the day I spent with Council staffand volunteers from the Victorian Council of Churches visiting individuals and familiesaffected by the flood at their own homes. This visitation program has a number of objectivesincluding making contact with people to see how they are coping, listening to people tell theirown stories about the flood, gaining an insight into the progress being made with therepair/restoration of homes and gathering information to use as part of ongoing recoveryplanning and advocacy to State Government. Some of the stories I heard were heartbreaking but what impressed me most was the resilience of the people who told their stories.It was an incredible experience to speak to and listen to people, some of whom have had a
lifetime of memories „washed‟ away, talk about their hopes for the future and belief in their 
town. Despite problems with insurance companies, delays with repairs, fear of future floodsand even a shortage of money nearly everyone I spoke to believed in the future. It was avery humbling experience and one that I will remember.My activities over the last week just reinforce how much more there is to do for the Bulokecommunity to recover from the January flood. Some of the immediate physical scars of theflood may have started to fade away, but the impact on people is still easy to see and tells astory of just how long it will take for us to fully recover from this experience. There is still
much to do and lots of support required from Government and others to help us through thesituation.
Cr Leo TellefsonMayor
The Victorian Minister for Water and Member for Swan Hill, The Hon. Peter Walsh, hasannounced that the Government will invest $150,000 in a flood management plan forCharlton to determine ways to reduce the impact of future floods on the community.Making the announcement on Tuesday 2
9 March 2011 Mr Walsh said “This funding will help
to find ways to reduce future flooding risk in Charlton, The flood management plan willsimulate various flood events through the town, identify key issues and explore infrastructureoptions to mitigate flood impacts. It will also assess and recommend preferred flood
mitigation and drainage improvement works for future funding.”
Mr Walsh said Charlton residents would play a key role in establishing the plan and would
have the opportunity to raise concerns during its development. “I believe it will be vital to tap
into local knowledge during the development of this plan to understand local issues and theimpact the floods had on families, communities, local businesses and food and fibre
producers,” Mr Walsh said.
North Central CMA will lead the development of the Charlton flood management plan inpartnership with Buloke Shire.
Powercor has written to Council advising that it is reviewing all substation assets, includingthe Charlton substation, that may be impacted by both 1:100 and 1:200 year flood events.The review is to identify the best options to avoid similar impacts to those encountered inJanuary.Powercor advise that some work is still required to understand both the height accuracy andtimeframes of flood warnings, to assess their ability to close levees around substations.The review will also identify whether levees are the most appropriate or cost-effectivesolution, by comparison with (for example) raising the height above ground of theinfrastructure. All options are currently being canvassed.Powercor expects this work to be completed in the coming months.

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