Council’s engagement team worked collaboratively with a technical consultant to share the updated Study with the community and key stakeholders. During the public exhibition period, 29 July to 26 August 2019, Council sent letters to more than 7,700 residents and property owners in the catchment area inviting them to learn more about the review. Emails with this information were sent to community, education, Register of Interest (flood), business, government and emergency services’ stakeholders. The information was also available at Council’s Customer Service Centre. Copies of the draft report, a Frequently Asked Questions sheet and Feedback Form were made available at Unanderra and Wollongong Libraries, as well as information sessions at Figtree Community Hall on 7 August 2019 and Berkeley Community Centre on 10 August 2019. They were also included on this webpage. Notices of the exhibition were published in the Advertiser on 31 July and 7 August 2019. A media release was distributed on 29 July 2019. The community were invited to provide feedback via Council’s website, Customer Service Centre and at the community information sessions.
There were 25 submissions. Some comments were provided at the drop-in information sessions which were attended by a total of 74 community members.
Feedback themes relating to the flood study focused on flood estimation methodology, flood modelling and mapping. Concerns were expressed that Council is not using the most current available data. It was noted that the developers of Cobblers Run took Council to court about using the ARR1987 and were successful, with the new guidelines subsequently being used for that development. Questions were raised about why the new guidelines could not also be used for the rest of Northview Estate. Some detailed technical analyses of the Study were provided, with suggested changes. Comments related to the modelling of calibration events, blockage, hydrologic and hydraulic modelling, estimates, validity, verification, data, catchment delineation, grid size, percentage impervious values, Manning’s values and definitions. There was some uncertainty about whether the modelling replicates real events. A comment was made that the mapping confirmed observed flood levels. Some suggested that the resolution of the maps needed to be improved. A method was stepped out as to how to improve this in a way that reduces loss of quality. It was also suggested to remove most maps that are based on “risk management” blockages.
Other feedback themes related to observations of flooding, creek maintenance, flood mitigation, flood risk to individual properties, perceived causes of flooding, 1998 floods, planning/development and insurance premiums.