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Maribyrnong Flood Independent Review Panel issues final report

Melbourne Water today published the final report of the independent review into the flooding of the Maribyrnong River in 2022. 

The Independent Review Panel was commissioned to examine whether the Flemington Racecourse flood protection wall contributed to the extent of the flood event. 

Chaired by Justice Tony Pagone, the report also reviewed the efficacy of Melbourne Water’s mitigation measures relating to the wall. 

Melbourne Water Managing Director Nerina Di Lorenzo said this was an important final step in a substantial review which gave Melbourne Water a better understanding of what occurred during the October 2022 flood. 

“Melbourne Water established this review, engaging an independent panel of experts over a year ago to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the flood on the community.”  

“We have undertaken widespread consultation; fast-tracked sophisticated modelling and we will take these lessons to better inform future decisions and help the community better prepare for any future event,” she said. 

The Independent Review Panel finds the flood wall contributed to an increase of flood extent across the catchment of 1 per cent.  

This included an increased depth ranging from 0.8 to 3 centimetres for approximately 240 properties in the Maribyrnong township area. 

These properties were in a flood zone before the wall was constructed and the modelling work shows a small increase in depth to these homes, relative to the average depth during the flood of 80 centimeters in the township.

At this stage, based on the findings of the Independent Review Panel and the technical work by modelling experts Jacobs, Melbourne Water do not believe there is enough evidence to justify the removal of the wall. 

Dr Di Lorenzo said “The Independent Review Panel does find the mitigation works put in place to offset the impact of the wall didn’t perform as well as expected. We will now incorporate an examination of the flood wall mitigation into our broader investigation of potential mitigation options across the catchment.” 

Melbourne Water will now continue its work on implementing the 15 recommendations made by Justice Pagone’s Review Report across targeted categories of: 
•    Opportunities to improve flood forecasting  
•    Improvements to flood modelling  
•    Focus on mitigation measures that have potential to reduce future flood impact
•    Improving the speed of integration of flood modelling into planning processes to benefit all Victorians in flood prone regions.  

Progress update on the Maribyrnong River Flood Review – Release of Final Report | Maribyrnong River Flood Review | Let's Talk | Melbourne Water

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