City of Casey: flood protection

I was interested to read recently in the Casey Weekly Berwick that Melbourne Water has declared some of the areas in the city of Casey which were affected by this year’s summer floods as not extreme flood risks. It was reported that these areas will not be included in Melbourne Water’s flood protection works. The floods in the city of Casey in February this year were not a 1-in-100-year event. Anybody who was around my electorate at the time or who saw the images published in the local papers — images of almost fully submerged cars and buildings — would agree that all flood-affected areas of Casey need to be included in the flood protection program. The streets referred to by Melbourne Water as not carrying extreme risk have been flooded in the past.

Many local residents are still not back in their homes, and many of them are afraid of this happening all over again. Michelle Halsall, a tireless community advocate in Hampton Park, has formed a Casey community flood support group which gives flood victims the opportunity to come together and support each other. One of the group’s members is an 85-year-old flood victim who is still not back in her house. She wrote the following poem, which sums up the feelings and emotions of the many local residents who have not yet returned home:

Don’t step on a snail please
she may lose her house,
crushed on her back by careless shoes,
not many people really care,
and I cannot even imagine her loss,
will it grow back,
will she feel displaced,
will she live without it,
feeling naked and vulnerable
hiding in corners or shadow maybe,
or will she die?

I urge the Minister for Water and Melbourne Water to generously assist Casey’s flood victims and fix the problems. Casey residents need help, not more hindrances.