We say: Another day, another levee upgrade delay

Central Wagga businesses sandbagged and evacuated in 2012.
Central Wagga businesses sandbagged and evacuated in 2012.

It has been six years since most of Wagga sat and watched at the Murrumbidgee River broke its banks and spilled into North Wagga.'

Then we waited some more for the threats of it to spill into central Wagga to come true.

We watched the river height, we read the news diligently and we checked the weather radar for more rain.

We hauled boxes, suitcases and furniture as North Wagga and central were evacuated, rendering the city a ghost town.

And then we waited.

Luckily, we got quite used to waiting because it seems as though Wagga City Council might make us wait some more.

Central residents, and any who would be protected by an increase in this side of the levee, were starting to breathe easier.

April was nearing and with it, the finish of stage one of the levee bank upgrade.

But alas, there’s been a delay.

While council should be commended for wanting the best quality work and doing all they can to ensure the city gets it, there is talk of halting the project while they seek other tenders.

It appears that a new contractor, one that is yet to be found, will now need to rebuild what’s been done almost from scratch.

The issue with the compacting of the clay means that it will need to be pulled apart in sections and done again, delaying the end of stage one and the end of the project.

Again, council should be commended.

They recognised the problem and put their hands up said yes, we need to fix it.

They have offered full disclosure knowing they will probably receive some sort of backlash from the public.

And if it is an issue that will impact the strength and effectiveness of the levee, council should absolutely be taking the proper precautions.

Because as bad as it is that the project is delayed, imagine how bad it would be if the levee were to continue as is and that one-in-100-year flood occurred on a flimsy levee.

The fallout of an upgraded levee that failed would be devastating to come back from.

It’s a blow to residents who were looking to that levee upgrade to safeguard their homes and perhaps bring down insurance costs.

But arguably it’s a bigger blow to North Wagga residents. They are often the first, and worst, affected and there’s still no word on exactly when, or if, there will be upgrades on their side of the river.


Discuss "We say: Another day, another levee upgrade delay"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.