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Survey gauges community tolerance of suburban flooding

Lake Macquarie City Council will survey residents in parts of south-east Lake Macquarie prone to tidal inundation to gauge their response to future flooding risks.


A community survey has been delivered to homes and businesses in Swansea, Pelican, Caves Beach and Blacksmiths as part of Council’s ongoing efforts to reduce the risk of flooding in the area.

Its launch comes as Council continues to work on a Local Adaptation Plan for the area to help prepare for future flooding due to projected sea level rises and increasing frequency of extreme weather events.

The survey asks residents to share their thoughts about how often they would be prepared to accept a range of minor and major tidal inundation scenarios.

They range from the relatively benign inundation of local roads and footpaths for less than a day to flooding of local shops and businesses, forcing their closure.Potential impacts on private property, lifestyle, outdoor spaces and transport are among the aspects covered.

Manager Environmental Systems Tim Browne said the survey, which closes on Friday 5 June, would help Council gauge the community’s tolerance of tidal inundation and its consequences.

“These responses, which will help guide our local adaptation plan, are an important part of Council’s ongoing collaboration with the community” Mr Browne said.

“The challenge is striking a balance between what is desired by the community, what it can tolerate and what we can practically do to minimise future flooding risk.”

Council is also undertaking a cost benefit analysis of various options, from ‘business as usual’ to taking measures such as raising and filling public and private land and infrastructure, the Pacific Highway and Swansea CBD.

The draft Pelican and Blacksmiths Local Adaptation Plan, and the separate draft Swansea and Surrounds Local Adaptation Plan, are scheduled to go to Council for review and public exhibition later this year.

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