David DAVIS (Southern Metropolitan):

I move:
That this house requires the Environment and Planning Committee to inquire into, consider and report, by 30 June 2024, on the state’s preparedness for and response to Victoria’s major flooding event of October 2022 (the flood event), including but not limited to the:

(1) causes of and contributors to the flood event;
(2) adequacy and effectiveness of early warning systems;
(3) resourcing of the State Emergency Service, the adequacy of its response to the flood event and the adequacy of its resourcing to deal with increasing floods and natural disasters in the future;
(4) implementation and effectiveness of the 2016 Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy in relation to the flood event;
(5) location, funding, maintenance and effectiveness of engineered structures, such as flood walls, rural levees and culverts, as a flood mitigation strategy;
(6) flood event as a whole, including but not limited to the catchments and flood plains of the:
(a) Avoca River;
(b) Barwon River;
(c) Broken River;
(d) Campaspe River;
(e) Goulburn River;
(f) Loddon River;
(g) Maribyrnong River;
(h) Murray River;
(7) the 2007 decision of the Minister for Planning to approve the construction of a flood wall around Flemington Racecourse and whether the growing impacts of climate change were considered;
(8) the implications for future planning decisions including:
(a) how the Victorian planning framework can ensure climate mitigation is a consideration in future planning decisions;
(b) how corporate interests may influence decision-making at the expense of communities and climate change preparedness; and
(9) any other related matters.

Hansard, Victorian Legislative Council, Wed 22 Feb 2023

22 Feb 2023, 10:35
Victorian Legislative Council
Committees: Environment & Planning Committee

David ETTERSHANK (Western Metropolitan): I would like to speak in support of the motion. I have been involved with the Flemington Victoria Racing Club (VRC) matter since 2004, and I have expressed my concerns previously, publicly and in this place, on the current Melbourne Water review. That review process has been, I think, disturbing. What we have seen is a process of Melbourne Water reviewing Melbourne Water, and at the same time we have seen magnificent people from organisations like the SES and the Red Cross pretty much as window-dressing in what have been described as ‘community consultations’.

This proposal captures our concerns on the VRC and the flood wall issues, and at the same time I think most importantly it elaborates that and contextualises it into a broader discussion about the impact of climate change across Victoria – I note and thank Ms Terpstra for her contribution in this regard; I thought that was really useful, so thank you for that, it is much appreciated – and recognises the terrible, terrible losses that have been experienced by Victorians with climate-driven flood events. This inquiry provides an opportunity for the house and for the committee to undertake a broad-ranging review, as proposed in the motion. Most importantly, from our perspective, and we flagged this issue previously, we are keen to ensure that the review also considers the lessons that can be learned from these events in terms of adaptation strategy. Clearly, climate change continues; it continues to escalate, and the impact of that on Victorians across the state continues to grow and evolve. We need to not only address how we mitigate the expansion of climate change inducing gases and suchlike, but we also need to look at how we adapt to the changes that will be required in our everyday lives. This review picks that up. I would like to, on that basis, simply commend the motion to the house.


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