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Go-ahead for protection from Gawler River flooding

Jim Lloyd Minister of Local Government and Roads
022TRS/Budget 9 May 2006

The Australian Government will provide $7.8 million to South Australia to enable the Gawler River Flood Mitigation Scheme north-east of Adelaide to go ahead, the Minister for Local Government, Territories and Roads, Jim Lloyd, announced today.

Mr Lloyd said the funding was conditional on the availability of matching funds from the state and a significant contribution from affected local councils. It will be administered under the Australian Government's Regional Flood Mitigation Programme.

"Construction of this $20 million project is due to commence later this year following the completion of planning, design and land acquisition works already undertaken under this programme," Mr Lloyd said.

"The Gawler River floods on average every ten years, having most recently flooded in November 2005, and this Scheme will reduce the risk and alleviate damage from these major events occurring across the floodplain north of Adelaide - safeguarding the many high-value crops in the area such as market vegetables and vineyards."

Mr Lloyd said the most effective way to control the flood water was by restricting flows down the two tributaries, the North Para and South Para Rivers.

The project consists of three main components:

  • construction of a flood control dam on the North Para River near Turretfield;
  • modifications to the spillway on the South Para Reservoir for flood attenuation; and
  • channel improvements, repairs to levees on the north bank and provision of controlled, alternate flow paths along the lower reaches of the Gawler River in the Virginia-Two Wells area, plus restoration and rehabilitation of levees on the south side of the river which unexpectedly failed in November 2005.

"The scheme will more than pay for itself in the estimated savings to be made. For example, the damages bill from agricultural losses alone for the recent floods has been estimated at some $40 million, with additional costs for infrastructure restoration, public health costs and individual house damage," Mr Lloyd said.

"I would like to pay particular tribute to the Member for Wakefield, David Fawcett, who has been an unfailing advocate and strong supporter for this project since his election in 2004.

The Regional Flood Mitigation Programme assists State and Territory governments and local agencies implement priority, cost effective flood mitigation works.

The Programme is delivered through partnerships between all levels of government, with the Australian Government generally contributing up to one third of approved project costs and State and Territory governments and local agencies meeting the balance.

For more information about projects funded under the Regional Flood Mitigation Programme visit www.dotars.gov.au/localgovt/rfmp

Media contacts:
Mr Lloyd's office - Fiona Telford 02 6277 7060 / 0407 908 504