Council has implemented a new initiative which gives the community a structured platform for advising Council on matters relating to the levee bank in St George.
“It’s a new way forward for Council. We are listening to our community and are actively trying new ways of solving problems and working together,” said Balonne Shire Council Mayor Richard Marsh.
The group’s key functions are to provide Council with advice on general maintenance (in addition to the maintenance recommended by engineers), suggest improvements, and in the event of a flood they will assist Council.
Fifteen community members directly affected by the levee footprint attended a meeting on June 28th to nominate representatives to the four positions on the St George Levee Easement Advisory Committee, with the group’s first official meeting taking place the day after.
Community members Jeff Moon, Jeff Mulder, Lindsay Davidson, and Jane Parker as Chair round out the committee, with the other two positions held by Mayor Richard Marsh and the Council’s CEO.
Independent engineering group GHD recently conducted a peer review of the St George Levee. The review focused on design, operational and maintenance matters.
The review came about as part of a recommendation that the St George Levee Advisory Group made to Council.
The GHD review compares the current levee design by CDM Smith and their recommended operations and maintenance against the new Queensland Levee Guidelines that came in to effect after the levee was constructed.
In conclusion, the peer review states “The CDM Smith design documentation demonstrates that the levee generally meets current Queensland Levee Guidelines but the documentation is generally light on provision of supporting data to back up recommendations made. This does not mean that the levee is structurally deficient or unsafe.”
It then went on to list a number of recommendations, some of which Council currently have underway or are planned. “The bulk of the recommendations made can be conducted as part of the expected ongoing maintenance activities for the levee,” said the review. The status of Council’s progress on GHD’s recommendations to date are listed at the end of the document.
Next, a number of risk assessment workshops will be facilitated by GHD focusing further on operational and maintenance matters. Key responders will be Council staff, the St George Levee Advisory Group, SES, and the Local Disaster Management Group. Feedback from the workshops will be placed on the website.