WORK to improve the east Orange channel has been welcomed by a resident, however he believes the measures should be extended to alleviate flooding in the area.
Mike Bayada has lived beside the channel for the past decade and has struggled with high insurance premiums in recent years after his property was identified as vulnerable to a one in 100-year flood.
It doubled from $800 to $1600 in 2012 and last December, Mr Bayada paid $2400.
“Now if I try to get a competitive quote, most want $11,000 to insure [the house] - it’s prohibitive,” he said.
Mr Bayada said he was happy to see work start on the channel recently, with more than $750,000 set aside this financial year to reinforce, widen and deepen the channel between Summer and Byng streets in two stages.
However, he said the work needed to go further, identifying “choke points” at March and Dalton streets.
“The pipes are only 315 millimetres in diameter, which is the same as Bathurst Road, but by the time it gets to March Street, they have to handle double the amount of water,” he said.
Mr Bayada also questioned the impact the Shiralee subdivision would have on run-off once development started.
Orange councillor Reg Kidd said removing choke points was the focus and the east Summer Street work had been brought forward due to erosion of the channel banks.
“The work to be done has been identified and listed in the floodplain risk management study and Orange City Council is gradually working its way through that list as funds become available,” he said.
Cr Kidd said Transgrid had agreed to remove some power poles at a choke point near Dalton Street, which would allow council staff to complete additional work, and a major upgrade of the bridge crossing at March Street was planned.
He said almost all the run-off from the Shiralee area was handled by Blackmans Swamp Creek and Rifle Range Creek, with the East Orange Creek only drawing a fraction of its run-off from west of Forest Road.
“Council will be monitoring the impact of further development along Forest Road to watch for potential run-off changes,” he said.
The study is available online by visiting orange.nsw.gov.au/floodplainmanagement.