Federal money needed to protect city from major floods

Speaking at one of the world’s largest underwater water discharge channel schemes on Sunday, Perrottet stressed that raising the wall of Sydney’s main dam was the only solution to protecting the city from major floods.

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He said the Tokyo system, which collects water from four rivers and releases it in a controlled way to the region’s main river when safe, was “phenomenal” but would not work in NSW because major floods generate much larger volume of water.

“Just as impressive as this is, we would need 400 times the capacity to deal with the issues in the Hawkesbury Nepean area,” Perrottet said.

“So that gives you an understanding and appreciation of the substantial challenge in front of us.”

The Opposition also released a flood mitigation policy on Sunday, which would see a Labor government commit to spending $225 million on a Western Sydney Floods Resilience Plan.

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Under the proposal, work would start immediately on projects including evacuation roads, levees and critical communications infrastructure that Labor says would help improve and bolster flood prevention and evacuation infrastructure across western Sydney.

NSW Labor leader Chris Minns said the announcement was “only the beginning of Labor’s flood mitigation plan”.

“I’ve visited these communities and inspected the flood damage. It’s heartbreaking talking to families who have lost homes, businesses who have to start from scratch,” Minns said.

“The fact of the matter is these communities will face continual flood risk – and we need urgent action and solutions that can be delivered right now, not in another decade.“

However, Perrottet rubbished Labor’s plans.

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“The $200 million commitment they made wouldn’t even pay for the potholes from the last flood,” Perrottet said.

“And you can’t just have short-term solutions, they need to be all encompassing and that’s why I commissioned this flood inquiry which I expect will come back with a range of recommendations and I will look at them and my intention is to implement every one of them.”

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