Another consultant has been appointed to do yet more design work on Katherine's flood levees.
The NT Government today announced it was "progressing" the Katherine Flood Mitigation project with a contract awarded to engineering company Cardno Pty Ltd for $298,080.
Cardno is to deliver a detailed design for flood mitigating embankments and wall levees, to better protect Katherine properties against flooding.
Building of the banks, long in the planning, is expected to begin early next year.
In 2014, $25 million was allocated to Katherine, following the sale of the TIO, to safeguard the town from future floods after the disaster of 1998 almost wiped the town from the map.
While the idea of levees was first seriously raised in 1992, it was believed nothing could prevent a disaster like 1998, and it was better to protect the town from smaller, 2006-type floods.
While much of the money has already been spent, the Federal Government promised a further $11 million during this year's election campaign to bring the kitty back to $22 million.
The embankment and wall levees are still seen as integral to the town's flood protection and were a key recommendation of the Katherine Region Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee's Report in 2015 to:
- Increase Katherine's flood resilience; and
- Improves flood protection of Katherine residential areas in flooding events up to a 1-in-20 year event.
Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics senior director (northern region) Claire Brown said the contract for detailed design will formalise the final design and alignment for these structural mitigation measures.
"The detailed design contract award forms part of the wider Katherine Flood Mitigation Project, which is centred on community safety and surety to protect the residents of Katherine and their properties from flooding events," Ms Brown said.
"We conducted extensive flood modelling which identified that levee banks and upgraded drainage will provide the greatest whole of town resilience to flooding events.
"The recommended levee designs, to be constructed on both the North and South sides of town, will include a combination of earth embankments, concrete walls and a temporary levee for road crossings," said Ms Brown.
The northern section flood levee:
- Will run from the northern side of Knotts Crossing Resort and Caravan Park, near the old Katherine Airstrip to the Stuart Highway.
- Will prevent overflows from Lockheed Drain during the 20-year (72-hour) flood event.
The southern section flood levee:
- Will run from the Katherine Country Club along the eastern side of South Katherine to the southern tip of South Katherine.
- Will prevent overflows from Tindal Creek during the 20-year, 18-hour, flood event.
The detailed design of the structural flood mitigation measures will further inform the final alignment and height of the levees.
Cardno (NT) Business leader, Gerry Oorloff, said Cardno has a long history of over 50 years providing engineering consulting services to the Northern Territory community.
"As the majority of our employees are long-term residents, we are humbled to be able to work closely with the DIPL team and to provide our local expertise to this significant flood mitigation project; addressing safety for the Katherine community," said Mr Oorloff
These works are part of the broader $22 million Katherine Flood Mitigation Project which is co-funded by the Australian Government (Regional Growth Fund) and includes the provision of serviced commercial land outside of the flood zone in Katherine East.
In 2018, the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics conducted extensive community consultation, with the feedback being considered and incorporated into the scope for the detailed design contract.
There are long-term plans to move the hospital from the flood zone but no funding for it.
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