Council Acts To Protect Silverleaves

Bass Coast Shire Council has endorsed a drainage strategy to protect the Silverleaves area on Phillip Island from flooding at the May Council meeting.

Mayor, Cr Kimberley Brown, said the Silverleaves Drainage Strategy 2015 has been developed as a response to flooding in the area from 2010 to 2012.

“When the Silverleaves area was largely developed in the1980s, basic road infrastructure was provided, but no underground drainage was constructed as there were concerns about the impact on vegetation and the ground water table,” Cr Brown said.

“After a period of extended drought and three years of above average rainfall, however, Silverleaves has experienced extensive flooding, which its infiltration drainage hasn’t been able to cope with.”

Cr Brown said while Council has installed pumps in the most heavily affected areas in Moore Street and Tedwood Court to resolve the immediate problem, a more comprehensive drainage and flood mitigation strategy was required.

“As the Strategy notes, there are essentially four possible responses to increased flooding risk like that experienced in Silverleaves, and they are do nothing, retreat, defend or adapt,” Cr Brown said.

“Doing nothing is clearly not acceptable and constructing huge levee banks, flood gates and pumps could potentially cost upwards of $50 million.

“Council, therefore, has decided to adapt using a combination of planning controls to ensure appropriate future development, and smaller scale infrastructure construction, which offer the best protection at a cost that ratepayers can bear.”

The document identifies a network of pipes and relatively small pumps (like those already in place in Moore Street and Tedwood Court) connected to existing outfall pipes which will protect Silverleaves into the foreseeable future.

“As an essentially ‘modular’ network, the individual components can be installed as they are required, with the cost being spread over a number of years,” Cr Brown said.

“That way, if the problem worsens sooner than expected, implementation can be accelerated, or alternatively if the problem slows, so can implmentation.”