GRIFFITH City Council will launch a full-scale flood study in the wake of the devastating deluge that hit the region in March.
In a bid to mitigate the severity of future flooding and improve its response to disasters, council has started seeking financial and practical support for a major inquiry.
The study will incorporate a review of a 2010 report into potential flooding in the “main drain J” catchment.
A much larger investigation into the Mirrool Creek catchment, will also be launched, which will incorporate several organisations and government agencies as well as emergency services from across the region.
Council general manager Brett Stonestreet said it would be a daunting task but one that needed to be done.
“It’s a huge undertaking and it will take a long time,” Mr Stonestreet said.
“We are looking at a range of funding sources and sending out letters to organisations that we’d like to be involved to get the review process underway.
“It will take time to roll any changes out – we expect it will take years to get results on the ground – so it’s important we get started as soon as possible.”
Mr Stonestreet said it was important to understand that any changes to Mirrool Creek and irrigation channel systems would have downstream consequences.
The last flood study commissioned by council, in 2010, found Yoogali and Yenda would be inundated in a one-in-100-year flood, causing damage in excess of $27 million.
Just months before the March floods hit, council signed off on a flood plan designed to eliminate the damage predicted in the 2010 report.
Mr Stonestreet said a review into which facets of the report had been accurate and which action points needed to be changed in the flood plan would take about 12 months.
The larger investigation into the Mirrool Creek catchment would take at least four years.
The long-term undertaking from council did little to appease anxious Yenda residents, many of who are still unable to live in their flood-damaged homes.
“If we got the same rain again today, the exact same thing would happen,” Yenda Progress Association president Kay Pellizzer said.
“Something needs to be done immediately to stop anything like this ever happening again.
“The fact that they’re doing a study is great but it needs to be done quickly. We had an inch and a half of rain a couple of weeks ago and all the kids were asking, ‘are we going to get flooded and have to move again?’”
In addition to the major flood study, council has a short-term plan to fix stormwater drainage issues in Yenda and Yoogali.
Drainage has been a problem in both villages for many years, even when a minimal amount of rain has fallen.