A flight over the state’s north has revealed the extent of river erosion caused by June’s devastating floods.
Waterway experts had an aerial view of the land, surveying the impact of the disaster while flying west to the Mersey and Leven systems on Tuesday. The Mersey River system, made vulnerable by pockets of floodplains, sustained the most damage during flooding.
Director of waterway experts Alluvium, Ross Hardie, said areas worst-hit by flood-related erosion tended not to be confined by valleys.
“We’ve also seen most of that erosion at the sites where there’s limited bank vegetation, because what the bank vegetation does is holds the banks together against the forces of the flood water.”
Most change in channel courses was occurring in agricultural country, he said.
Structutral reinforcements, bank battering or rock beaching could be short-term protections against further channel change. Establishing native vegetation could limit erosion rates in the long-term.
DPIPWE Manager, Natural Values Conservation, Peter Voller said the next step would be evaluating where the most significant works were needed. He said it was trying to organise funding applications with the federal government and other partners to prevent further damage.
The flight was part of a study commissioned by the state government to determine capital works to assist stabilisation, remediation and future flood mitigation.
The Dasher river system, the Lobster Rivulet, the Blackwood Creek, and catchments including St Georges, Ouse, Lake, Meander, North Esk, and South Esk are included in the study.