A complex maze of State government laws on what councils can and can’t do in waterways has been summarised in a consultants report presented to Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council.
Acting General Manager Phil McMurray told council the report was part of behind-the-scenes work needed to get State government funding for flood control along Muttama Creek, Cootamundra’s main waterway.
Several properties along the creek were affected by a flood in September 2016, when the creek broke its banks covering some roads and recreational reserves.
Mr McMurray said the next step would be a flood study, including modelling, which would enable a risk management plan to be prepared.
“We have to go through this process, because it we don’t have an up-to-date flood management plan we can’t access the one million dollars of flood mitigation set aside for CGRC in the merger moneys,” he said.
Waterways fall within state government’s authority, so councils generally need permission to work on them.
The allocation for Muttama Creek flood mitigation is $100,000.
The $10,000 cost of the Stokks Consulting report was questioned by two councillors, one of whom criticised it as a “google search”.
Mr McMurray said the Muttama Creek Regeneration Group had helped greatly in removing introduced species such as willows and ash trees, but a lot of the growth now is cumbungi (bullrushes) which is difficult to remove once it gets established.
“Burning and spraying have been initially worthwhile, but in the long term the cumbungi keeps growing back.”
The Muttama Creek Regeneration Group is not hostile to bullrushes, saying in a recent news bulletin that cumbungi growing in the creek provides an excellent habitat for bird species.