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To: Anthony Albanese, Kevin Hogan, Chris Minns, Ritchie Williamson



Bungawalbyn levee was completed in 1946 and protects the mid Richmond from Minor and moderate floods.

The levee broke through for the first time, in 2017 and again in the exact same spot in 2021. In the 2022 floods it slumped considerably, and the only reason it wasn’t destroyed completely was due to the water in the paddock rising at the same rate as the river, so there wasn’t the fast overflow.

👉Public Works Interim flood confidence level guidelines is a field guide for SES and emergency services to determine the confidence in levees.

👉According the to IFCL the levee is in the worst possible state - class 5 - no confidence.

👉It has previously failed in the last 5 years – 3 times
Has significant erosion, and clay core missing
Numerous large trees collapsing the levee

👉 As it is currently, there is NO CONFIDENCE it can protect us in minor floods. This will mean Bungawalbyn, Swan Bay and Woodburn will be flooded a lot sooner. It will no longer take a major flood to flood us. It will mean the evacuation route of Bungawalbyn Whiporie Road will be cut off a lot sooner.

Rous County Council are responsible for the maintenance and repair of this essential, historic, flood mitigation asset. They do not have the funds to repair the levee properly and have had several grant applications rejected.

👉 CSIRO/National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
The levee was given a total weighted score of 0.53 but was not given priority when Projects with only a score of 0.44 were (See page 51, 77): The Bungawalbyn levee was rated 8th. 16 projects were funded. The Bungawalbyn levee was not included in that funding.
NRRC – David Witherdin has advised
NSW Public Works, the levee repair and maintenance program – The Bungawalbin levee is not considered ‘Urban’: Therefore is not eligible for this funding, even though it protects numerous properties and the southern Woodburn Village: This discrimination needs to be removed.
NSW Disaster Recover Funding – not eligible as it has a 12 month timeframe in which to complete the works. Rous were unable to access the site until October due to it being too wet. By then all of the machinery had been contracted out – therefore it could not be completed by the January 2023 deadline: Time frame needs to be extended due to the extenuating circumstances.
NSW Betterment Program – I provided a letter of support in December and Rous are waiting for the decision.
The SES are worried. As it currently is, they will now have to issue an evacuation warning lower than minor level (2.9m), when normally it would be a major (5.0m) level.

👉A local engineer has warned that if the levee is not fixed properly, there will be risk to life, and it will be safer to remove the entire 8km levee.

Why is this important?

We've been living on the flood plain for generations, almost 200 years... we are the tea tree capital, the food bowl and the red cedar wood suppliers from the 1800s.

Our wood built your homes and buildings it floated down the Richmond River. Now we need your help to survive living on the flood plain.
Bungawalbin - Whiporie Rd, Bungawalbin NSW 2469, Australia

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