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Stormwater Reminders

16 December 2004

SA has more than $200m of outstanding stormwater drainage work and flooding such as that experienced in metropolitan and country areas over the past week is likely to continue to occur whenever very heavy rainfall occurs within a short time frame.

The President of SA's Local Government Association, Cr John Legoe, said today that Local and State Government are progressing how to fund the revenue required to address such issues within a target of 10 years for at least the high priority works.

"The reality is that stormwater infrastructure is very expensive, particularly in situations where increased development has added further pressure on existing systems," Cr Legoe said.

"I have the utmost sympathy for those people flooded this week but people need to understand that State and Local governments have limited resources and do not provide services that can eliminate all hazards of any kind wherever and whenever they occur," he said.

Cr Legoe said that State and Local government were working effectively together to ensure a strategic approach based on risk assessment for future stormwater drainage works.

"The current government restored funding levels to the Catchment Management Subsidy Scheme which provides State funds that are matched by councils after it was halved by the previous government and has been willing, under Ministers Hill and McEwen, to develop joint strategies.

"We are well advanced in developing a strategic framework for urban situations including the metropolitan area and will be looking to next year's State Budget for appropriate State commitment which will be matched by Local Government."

Cr Legoe said the plan identified more than $160m of priority work in the metropolitan area alone and seeks to maximise opportunities for stormwater harvesting and use where possible.

The plan is based on a study which suggested a joint approach could significantly impact on $100m worth of "high priority" works over a 10 year period.

"We understand the pressures on State Government, just as we know the pressures are on Council rates - I suspect that the biggest issue in all of this is that the community has unreal expectations about what is possible with the revenue available."

There is a long history of flooding occurring in parts of Adelaide and the ongoing risk of this is something that State and Local Government are working to manage on a catchment basis.

For further information contact:
Cr John Legoe, President, 0407 417 314
Ms Wendy Campana, Executive Director, 0417 861 783

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