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, 17 June to 19 July 2019, Council sent letters to more than 5,300 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 Corrimal Library, as well as information sessions at Bulli Senior Citizens Centre on 22 June 2019 and Bulli Surf Lifesaving Club on 25 June 2019. They were also included on this webpage. Notices of the exhibition were published in the Advertiser on 19 and 26 June 2019. A media release was distributed on 19 June 2019. The community were invited to provide feedback via Council’s website, Customer Service Centre and at the community information sessions.
There were 30 submissions. Some comments were provided at the drop-in information sessions which were attended by a total of 94 community members. A suggestion was made about how to make flood modelling easier to understand. A concern was raised that the Study does not extend into the Wollongong Coal Russell Vale mine site and that it should also address water quality, not just quantity. A request was made to correct the way a creek was displayed on the aerial map, as there was a concern this would impact property values.
Other comments related to the perceived causes of flooding, how flooding impacts people’s own property, creek maintenance and suggestions for flood mitigation options. Some were unaware of flood mitigation work that has happened, is in progress or planned for the catchment. Concerns were expressed that development has, or may in future, increase flood impacts on people’s properties. The potential impact of the Flood Study on insurance premiums, property values and the development potential of privately-owned land was raised. It was commented that development should not be allowed on flood-prone land and that landowners should bear the responsibility of managing flood risk on their land. Interest was expressed by a property owner in participating in the Voluntary Purchase Scheme.