Australia: 46,000 people in Sydney could fail to evacuate in future flood, report says

Sydney news: Northern NSW flood report probing government response to be released today

  Sydney news: Northern NSW flood report probing government response to be released today MORNING BRIEFING: A report from a parliamentary inquiry into floods that hit Northern NSW earlier this year is due to be made public today. Over the past few months, an upper house committee chaired by Labor MLC Walt Secord took evidence at a series of public hearings in the Northern Rivers and Sydney. Members looked into the response of various government agencies including Resilience NSW and the State Emergency Service (SES). The report will include recommendations on how emergency response strategies can be improved.But it will not have detail about proposed buyback or land-swap schemes.

The plan to raise the Warragamba Dam wall has been criticised by environmental groups. (ABC News) © Provided by ABC NEWS The plan to raise the Warragamba Dam wall has been criticised by environmental groups. (ABC News)

Up to 46,000 people in Sydney could fail to evacuate if flooding comparable to that experienced in Lismore earlier this year strikes in the future, a report has warned.  

The findings of an independent inquiry, led by NSW chief scientist and engineer Mary O'Kane and former police commissioner Mick Fuller, will be released today after being handed to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet more than two weeks ago.

The inquiry will back plans to raise the Warragamba Dam wall, arguing it could save lives and homes by giving people more time to evacuate.

Bureau of Meteorology rejects suggestions it was unprepared for Northern Rivers NSW flood event

  Bureau of Meteorology rejects suggestions it was unprepared for Northern Rivers NSW flood event The Bureau of Meteorology has hit back at suggestions it is treated as a "nine-to-five business operation" after a report found it needs to review its data processes in the wake of the NSW floods.Five people died in the first flood event in the Northern Rivers on February 28, with evacuation orders for towns such as Lismore issued through the night as flood waters tore through the region.

The independent flood report estimates that by 2041 up to 46,000 people will live in high-risk flood zones in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley and could fail to evacuate in a one-in-1,000-year flood – like the one experienced in Lismore in February — and last seen in the area in the 1860s.

The report says that increasing the dam's capacity could reduce that risk by "holding back floodwaters" and "delaying peak flows".

It said increasing the capacity of Warragamba Dam could "provide a significant reduction in current risks to life and property" in the area.

The state government believes its plan to raise the dam's wall would mitigate floods by giving the dam about 14 metres of space above the current level to "hold back" extra water.

Bill Shorten lashes NSW and Queensland flood claim frauds as 'scumbags'

  Bill Shorten lashes NSW and Queensland flood claim frauds as 'scumbags' Fraudsters have been trying to cash in on flood disaster relief payments with over 27,000 claims being flagged as dodgy, which is delaying payments to those genuinely in need.There have been more than 27,000 suspicious claims made for relief funds intended for victims of this year's floods in NSW and Queensland.

The plan has been criticised by environmental groups — who argue the Blue Mountains could lose its world heritage listing — and some First Nations people, who warn culturally significant sites would be destroyed.

Off the back of the report, the NSW government will also establish a Reconstruction Authority to oversee the rebuilding of housing and infrastructure in the wake of future disasters.

More than 6,000 homes were damaged in this year's floods, most of those in Lismore, with almost 1,500 of those severely damaged or destroyed.

Hundreds of people are still living in temporary accommodation in the flood devastated Northern Rivers region, with no certainty going forward. 

The ABC understands a proposal to dismantle Resilience NSW, with is currently tasked with rebuilding flood destroyed communities, would be put to cabinet.

The new authority, which the government intends to have in place by Christmas, would be tasked with procuring and managing funds from government and philanthropic sources, and distributing it to affected communities.

It would also be in charge of disaster prevention in high-risk areas across the state.

The full report, which is expected to give communities in the Northern Rivers region more guidance on where and how they can rebuild their homes, will be released today.

Australia's east coast set for third straight La Niña season, experts predict .
The weather system that has caused higher than average rainfall for the past two years is predicted to return — dumping more water on flood-ravaged towns and catchments on Australia's east coast.The east coast has already endured two seasons of La Niña over the last two years, a weather phenomenon that causes higher than average rainfall.

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