A residents’ association has labelled council’s levee upgrade consultations “bloody ridiculous” because North Wagga people feel like they are “bashing their heads against the wall”.
Council embarked on a series of community meetings last week to weigh up its options for the future of the North Wagga levee.
But the president of the North Wagga Residents Association, Laurie Blowes, said council had stalled on its decision-making by canvassing proposals that were “unrealistic”, including a proposal to tear down the levee and move North Wagga.
“Why do we have to go through listening to all this crap? It’s bloody ridiculous,” he said. “What person in their right mind would want to tear the levee down? It’s left people bashing their heads against the wall.”
Mr Blowes fears council is on track to run out of time to make a good decision before the July deadline.
“I am worried they will make the wrong decision,” he said. “They told us they want to consult with every affected person but it just can’t happen that fast.”
Wagga mayor Rod Kendall said it was clear to him North Wagga favoured raising the height of the levee bank to either a one-in-20-year or one-in-100-year flood event.
Councillor Kendall said the consultations were designed to provide clarity over the “obvious” options for council to pursue, with the cost of moving North Wagga estimated to cost $100 million compared to a $6.8 million price tag to upgrade the levee for a one-in-100-year flood.
"Does that give you some clarity on what the good options might be?" he said.
Council’s share of the funding is slated to be about $7 million with the rest to be funded through state and federal contributions.
But independent candidate for the seat of Wagga and city Councillor Paul Funnell raised concerns about the speed in which funding is to be allocated, pointing to the state government's funding model that would only contribute $1 million per year during its construction.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.