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Federal flood funds challenge Wollongong City Council.

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Michael Organ MP

Greens Member for Cunningham

***** MEDIA RELEASE ***** 8 January 2004


Cunningham MP Michael Organ says Federal government funding to allow Wollongong City Council to purchase flood-affected properties in Amana St Fairy Meadow gives new urgency to the completion of city-wide floodplain management studies.

"Federal Local Government Minister Senator Ian Campbell has informed me that he's approved funding for the purchase of some of the flood-;prone properties East of the Cabbage Tree Hotel which were devastated during the August 1998 storms", Mr. Organ said today.

"While I welcome that commitment it does nothing to address the real causes of our problem - overdevelopment and inappropriate development on the escarpment and coastal plain, and diversion and restriction of the free-flowing creeks which should carry away the enormous quantities of water we all know can be dumped on our city in torrential rain storms."

"The challenge for Wollongong Council is to take steps now to mitigate the impact of torrential rain by stopping approval of all new construction in flood-prone areas while pressing the State and Federal governments for more funds to buy up properties already identified as at risk thanks to earlier inappropriate development approvals."

"It's good to see the Federal government coming to the party, even though four and a half years have elapsed since that terrible night in 1998, but we cannot continue to close the door after the horse has bolted, and the Council must act now to ensure that the residents and ratepayers of our city are not exposed to such risks in the future", Mr. Organ said.

More from: Michael Organ MP 02 4228 3666, 0439 442 550 Allen Clark (Media Adviser) 0439 464 439

***** MEDIA RELEASE *****