Floods in Coffs Harbour area 2009. 31 march 2019
Floods in Coffs Harbour area 2009. 31 march 2019

FLOOD 360: ‘This story is only 11 years late’

RECENT concerns over potential development in Boambee Valley attracted a lot of attention online with one reader levelling an insightful burn in the Coffs Coast Advocate's direction.

The story Flood fears as Boambee Valley development touted published last week highlighted retired engineer Tad Soroczynski's concerns that not enough was being done to stave off a repeat the devastating flood in 2009.

He said more development touted in the Boambee/Newports Creek catchment could have an adverse impact on future flood levels.

"This story is only eleven years late," Josh Davey said.

"You only had to look at the 2009 floods (to see) that the hospital was going to have problems in the future."

Mr Davey is referring to the flooding in and around the Coffs Harbour Health Campus that completely cut the hospital off during the 2009 flood.

 

Floods in Coffs Harbour area 2009. Photo: Trevor Veale
Floods in Coffs Harbour area 2009. Photo: Trevor Veale

 

Mick Hutchby responded by getting straight to the point, saying something a lot of people were probably thinking in 2009.

"Should never (have) built it there in the first place," he said.

Julie Alves suggested there was another risk which had not been considered.

"I've talked to a knowledgeable fisherman and he said that because of how much sand that has built up in the creeks we are in for much worse flooding in the future," she said.

It's an issue which had been brought up following the last flood event, when businessman John Smith discussed his regret at building a factory on Boambee Creek in 1968.

It had also been an issue for residents located around Spoonbill Lake in East Boambee, as siltation build-up had been causing the lake to expand in area.

Council gave the go-ahead for it to be dredged in 2016.

Mr Soroczynski was also not the first person to voice concerns over development in the Boambee/Newports Creek catchment, with Councillor Mark Graham sensationally calling for a moratorium on all development in 2009.

He was very much in the minority as councillors instead moved to press ahead with a raft of mitigation measures across the LGA, funded by a $6 million loan.

And final words must go to Karen Lagalla, who dryly stated she would withhold her opinion from the forum.

"I am not a hydrologist so what use would one more uninformed opinion make?" she said.


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