Blaze erosion could strip Nillumbik’s coffers

Blaze erosion could strip Nillumbik’s coffers

25 May 2011

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Australia — FIRE-related erosion will cost Nillumbik ratepayers millions of dollars in the next five to 10 years unless a government funding program is extended.

Mayor Helen Coleman said the shire had got more than $1 million for erosion works completed in 2010-11 – all due to Black Saturday – from the State Government’s Natural Disaster Fund.

But the funding arrangements, to offset the financial burden of Black Saturday’s ongoing environmental and social impacts on local government, are due to end next month.

Cr Coleman said increased water flows in the Diamond and Arthurs creeks continued to flood council roads, causing major damage.

She said extensive drainage works were needed to make roads safe, with council designs awaiting state approval. “Works cannot commence without … a guarantee that state and federal funding is available,” said Cr Coleman, adding that erosion rehabilitation along roadsides was costly and that the bill was estimated at $500,000 in 2011-12.

A recent Melbourne Water survey of the post-bushfire landscape found increased water flow and erosion would continue “at an increased level” and that “it could take five-10 years for the catchment system to return to normal”.

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