A not-for-profit network of business leaders has lashed out against the “red tape and excessive bureaucracy” delaying the much-needed levee bank upgrades in North Wagga.
The comment was issued in the face of skyrocketing claims suffered by North Wagga residents due to the looming threat of catastrophic flooding.
Projections estimate that another flood event could inundate up to 2,600 homes, 1,100 businesses, and displace 7,000 people.
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Committee for Wagga (C4W) chair Judy Galloway blamed the delay in vital levee upgrades to distractions within the council, The Daily Advertiser reported.
“There’s been a lot of distraction going on at the council and some significant staff turnover, so that may have something to do with it,” she said.
One resident, Jason Dunn, who has spent two years rebuilding his flood-damaged home, told the publication he fears the council’s “complacency” could be catastrophic.
He said that since the 2012 floods that inundated his home and “left many people with nothing,” his insurance has risen fourfold.
“Even five years down the track it’s still affecting us – I’m paying about $3,000 more than I used to,” he told The Daily Advertiser. “This has been going on for so many years and yet it feels like we’ve made little progress.”
After the major flood in Roma in 2012, the town was deemed uninsurable, which led to insurers refusing to offer new policies, the report said.
Mayor Greg Conkey said he hoped the entire project would be completed within three years, saying: “I understand the concerns of the community about how long it’s taken but we have been reliant on government funding and so now we’ve achieved that hopefully it will progress in a timely manner.”
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