Member for Morwell Russell Northe has used Question Time in Parliament last week to highlight the importance of local residents being able to contribute to a review of the Traralgon Creek floods that impacted the Latrobe Valley community in June 2021.
“The delayed evacuation warnings that occurred many hours after the floodwaters had actually peaked left many homeowners, businesses, sport and recreation clubs along the Traralgon Creek frustrated and angry” Mr Northe said.
Many local residents and user groups have contacted Mr Northe to seek answers as to why flood emergency and evacuation warning systems did not function adequately during this major flood event and in what they believe could have changed the outcome for many that were affected. Subsequently, it’s only natural local residents and community groups wish to get a fair understanding of what went wrong and what measures will be put in place to ensure there is an improved warning system in place for the next flood that will invariably occur.
“This flood event has had a significant impact on the community and still is, even though the clean up has begun and from the outside it looks like things are moving forward. However, we still have residents and community organisations whose homes and facilities have been severely damaged, and they need assistance and assurances from the State Government” said Mr Northe.
Whilst Mr Northe acknowledges some supports have been received thus far, there is still a long way to go in the recovery process.
“It’s imperative that those who were impacted by the Traralgon Creek floods are able to contribute to the review process, I can only hope that they will be given the opportunity” added Mr Northe.
“I have also spoken to the many user groups of the Traralgon Recreation Reserve all of whom are facing their own challenges in being able to rebuild, some simply cannot as insurers won’t allow facilities to be rebuilt on the current site, some simply don’t have the funds and resources to rebuild and to replace damaged equipment and facilities” Mr Northe said.
In response to Mr Northe’s question the acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services has offered a briefing to Mr Northe to meet and discuss with Bushfire Recovery Victoria the review process and what support and assistance will be provided to residents, businesses, community groups and sport and recreation clubs.