A North Wagga resident is up in arms calling for the state government to intervene in plans for the levee.
Fiona Ziff, treasurer of the North Wagga Resident Association, has started a petition as the council is about to re-convene the Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee.
The body considers recommendations for flood risk mitigation solutions for the suburb, as set out in the 2018 Floodplain Risk Management Plan.
"The committee does not comprise a voting member from North Wagga," Ms Ziff said. "All three former resident members resigned citing the same reason - they were overwhelmed by the way council was obviously steering the meeting towards spending no money in North Wagga."
Ms Ziff said the plan is misleading and does not contain the recommendation of a one-in-100-year levee, which was the conclusion of the only major flood investigation carried out for North Wagga made by the Public Works Department.
"This, as far as residents are concerned, is a breach of the state policy," she said.
"Instead the 2018 FRMP contains a recommendation for further investigation of a one-in-20-year levee and voluntary house raising and purchasing as a possible alternative to a levee upgrade, both of which were categorically opposed by the majority of residents during the mandatory community engagement process.
"And the scheme was found to be cost prohibitive by the Public Works Department."
Ms Ziff said council has expressed publicly that it does not wish to spend money in North Wagga and residents bought knowing it floods so they cannot expect protection.
"We have sent a full report detailing council's conduct requesting intervention," she said. "The twist in this whole tale is that North Wagga never suffered serious flooding until the Main City Levee was built to protect the CBD and Central area.
"In the 1956 flood, which inundated the CBD, leading council to built the Main City Levee, North Wagga was left mostly dry.
"Once the Main City Levee was built, North Wagga suffered catastrophic flooding in 1974 and 2012.
"Residents were also evacuated due to the threat of flooding in 1991 and 2010 and were placed on high alert in 2016 with no evacuation required."
Ms Ziff said should another flood occur, the result would be catastrophic.
"Quite simply, many will become bankrupt and the emotional trauma already felt will be severely exacerbated," she said.
The petition has already garnered at least 914 signatures.
General manager Peter Thompson said the committee has selected two options to consider in more detail and grant funding had been announced for the two studies.
"One is raising the height of the levee to a one-in-20-year protection based on current levels of information," he said. "The second option is voluntary house purchase or voluntary house-raising.
"That's been passed through the Floodplain Management Committee and accepted by council. The grant funding has been announced some months ago and we're in the process of doing the feasibility studies."
Mr Thompson said there had been advertising for new committee members to represent North Wagga, but no one had applied.
"It's a state government committee with many state government representatives, including SES, and everyone there has a voice," he said. "We are collecting a special rate levy at the moment specifically for the purpose of improving the flood situation of North Wagga."
Mr Thompson said if council did not implement a plan on the basis of the recommendations from the committee, then the grant would have to be refunded.
"I can't see that being a likely scenario," he said. "We will be doing flood mitigation in North Wagga, it is just based on what we can get grant funding for to support our own funding."
Mr Thompson said according to information from experts in the field, North Wagga is not impacted by the works on the Main City Levee.
"We are not aware of any breaches in the state policy, bearing in mind that we are supervised by the state government," he said.
Mr Thompson said residents with concerns should be encouraged to make a submission asking for a one-in-100-year levee to be considered.
"That can then be taken into account," he said.
The petition can be viewed here.