The Western Australian government has accepted all 27 recommendations of the Carnarvon Floodplain Management Task Force report and secured $1.9 million in additional federal funding for flood recovery efforts.
The report has been prepared in response to periodic widespread flooding of the Gascoyne River floodplain in Carnarvon, after the February 2021 event flooded a number of properties in the production area causing soil erosion and crop losses.
The recommendations cover five themes: a framework for a long-term coordinated strategic approach to flood management; planning and mapping; watercourse management; improved soil conservation and land management practices; and better waste management.
Australian Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the state government is committed to working with growers and Carnarvon County to support appropriate land management practices to reduce the risk of flooding and to optimize the value of production in the irrigation district.
“Mitigation of the effects of flooding is a responsibility we all share and is best managed at the local level,” Ms MacTiernan said.
“We encourage all Carnarvon horticultural growers, industry stakeholders and community members to get involved in implementing the recommendations of the Carnarvon Floodplain Management Task Force report.
“Together, we can achieve the vision of a flood-resilient community, in which businesses, government agencies and traditional owners work together to better manage risk and build resilience in the local economy, infrastructure and community. ‘environment.”
In response to the report, the Western Australian government is appointing a dedicated extension officer to help growers adopt best practices to reduce the threat of future flooding.
The government will install ten visual gauge boards along the river to help growers, county and government departments observe local river levels, assist in land management preparedness and decision making.
It will also support a task force report priority to improve waste management and recycling practices in the irrigation district to facilitate the free flow of water during peak river flow periods through a audit and engagement program.
In addition to the $1 million campaign pledge to support Carnarvon’s flood recovery, the Government of Western Australia has worked with Carnarvon County and growers to secure additional federal funding of $1 $.9 million to upgrade infrastructure and improve floodplain management.
The funds will accelerate a detailed study of the floodplain to integrate with changes to the watershed and floodplain management over the past 20 years to produce an updated model to better understand flood behavior and assess the potential impacts of climate change.
The survey and updated model results will improve the ability of local emergency managers and the community to appropriately plan and respond to future floods, as well as inform engineering solutions that may be considered. in the future.
The Carnarvon Irrigation District plays an important role in supplying quality fresh produce to the domestic market such as tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, mangoes, asparagus, melons, bananas, herbs and vegetables. peppers, worth up to $100 million a year.
Western Australia Minister for Water, Dave Kelly, said: “In order to improve our ability to plan for and respond to future floods, we need to better understand the impacts of climate change and the changes that have produced in the floodplain over the past two years. decades.
“The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will assist Carnarvon County with a new river and floodplain survey and updated flood modeling, to help guide planning for the land use and improve community flood preparedness.”
The report and the government’s response are available here.