Minister plays blame game on levee banks

With the community of Renmark at risk from a major flood, Water Minister Paul Caica is playing a blame game and failing to get on with the urgent job of remediating protective levee banks.

With the community of Renmark at risk from a major flood, Water Minister Paul Caica is playing a blame game and failing to get on with the urgent job of remediating protective levee banks.

Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said heavy rainfall and floods in the Murray-Darling Basin had increased the risk of a major flood event in the Riverland.

“With the catchment now saturated, another rain event in the Basin like that which has recently caused catastrophic flooding in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland could spell disaster for South Australian towns on the Murray like Renmark,” Mr Whetstone said.

“It is the State Government’s responsibility to ensure the levee banks protecting Renmark are up to the task of withstanding a major flood. The Department of Water is the coordinating authority.

“Minister Caica has had well over a year to address the problem of deteriorating levee banks. He was approached by the Renmark Paringa Council and the Opposition in 2010.

“During today’s Question Time, he chose to blame local landholders and the local council instead of accepting his responsibility and taking the urgent action needed to protect Renmark.

“The greatest risk is that while the Minister plays the blame game and commissions studies and reports, another major rain event will hit the Murray catchment and there won’t be enough time to do the work that needs to be done, leaving Renmark schools, businesses, homes and the local hospital wide open to a big flood.

“The Minister must act immediately to remediate the levee bank.”

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