Prominent Seymour business owners impacted by the October floods have met to discuss the public submission process of the Inquiry into the 2022 Flood Event in Victoria.
The roundtable, organised by The Nationals Member for Euroa, Annabelle Cleeland, discussed the inquiry’s terms of reference including flood warning systems, response, recovery and future mitigation measures.
Ms Cleeland outlined the importance of strong representation from the community ahead of public submissions closing on May 8.
“This inquiry has incredibly relevant terms of reference for the Seymour region and we need to ensure our voice is heard,” Ms Cleeland said.
“I’m encouraging everyone in the community to make a submission, drive change and make sure the committee undertaking this inquiry gets a clear message.
“We cannot see flood events like this occur again without mitigation measures in place and serious reform to the system.”
Ms Cleeland said business owners have raised a broad range of issues in the wake of the October floods.
“Discussion included the lack of warning provided to the community and the slow response time from government agencies with recovery efforts,” Ms Cleeland said.
“Insurance premiums have gone through the roof and there is a strong drive for flood mitigation infrastructure to be looked at again.
“While a flood levee has been controversial in the past, we need a genuine community conversation about this. Seymour won’t have a future without some sort of mitigation infrastructure.”
Ms Cleeland will be advocating for a public hearing of the inquiry to occur in Seymour.
“We need the committee to come to Seymour and hear first-hand the flood related issues facing the region,” Ms Cleeland said.
“This inquiry can’t afford to be a bland box ticking exercise. We want strong recommendations informed by local voices.
“My hope is that local submissions will drive reform and provide the businesses and people of Seymour with optimism, certainty and protection from future flood events.”
The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria, Gaelle Broad, is part of the committee and will provide a strong regional voice.
“The committee will review what occurred in both the lead up, event and response to the October floods,” Ms Broad said.
“It’s important that we hear from people impacted by the floods, to capture their experience and learnings.”
“This inquiry has the ability to make crucial recommendations and ensure our region is better prepared and protected against flood events in the future,” Ms Broad said.
To make a public submission head to https://new.parliament.vic.gov.au/get-involved/inquiries/floodinquiry/submissions/