Greens to Fund Wallsend Flood Works

Greens Candidate for Newcastle John Mackenzie has today committed $6 million for rebuilding Boscawen Street bridge in Wallsend, and a further $20 million for channel widening, as part of the public works component of climate adaptation for Newcastle.

“This is essential flood mitigation infrastructure to reduce flash flooding risks, and ensure we don’t see a repeat of the devastating damage to homes and businesses from the 2007 storm. Community awareness and preparedness is not enough. We need to reduce flood risk by improving flood flow through Wallsend Commercial Centre, which requires significant capital works investment.”

“The Wallsend catchment is exposed to flash flooding which allows very little time for mobilisation or emergency management.  The Commercial Centre sees thousands of community members passing through on any given day, and it is no exaggeration that those lives could be at risk in the event of an extreme flash flood. The risk of extreme flooding events is predicted to increase with climate change, which exacerbates the threat to lives and property in Wallsend.”

“In an extreme flood, the damage bill for commercial and industrial properties within the Commercial Centre is estimated to be between $35 million and $48 million, which is significantly less than the flood risk reduction works that The Greens are proposing to fund.”

“Right now, Newcastle Council is carrying the entire burden of the cost of these flood works, with limited financial support from either the state or federal government. At great cost, Newcastle Council has allocated funds for the Tyrell Street bridge, but the bridge
replacement at Nelson Street and Boscawen Streets, and the channel widening works are a step too far for already stretched Council resources.”

“The funding of the risk management plan is also beyond the constraints of typical state and federal floodplain management grants. However, The Greens recognise that these works form part of the City’s vital climate adaptation needs, and are committed to pursuing special allocation of funds from the climate funding pool to demolish and rebuild the Boscawen Street bridge.”

“It was shocking to me that ALP environmental heavyweight Tony Burke was in town yesterday talking about the importance of investing in urban waterways, but failed to even mention the Wallsend bridges. Instead of wandering around the mangroves, he could have easily matched the Greens commitment to funding this critical infrastructure works to protect our city in the unfortunate but likely event of future flooding.”

For interviews, please phone John Mackenzie 0408 533 010

This entry was posted in 2018/19 Federal, 2019 Federal Campaign, Local Community, Uncategorized, Water and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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