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Complexity of flood protection revealed

There was a full bus for the Flood protection in Busselton bus tour held recently, as 57 community members witnessed firsthand the complexity of the local drainage network.

The tour was organised in response to community concerns over flood risk during winter, visiting the Sabina River detention basin, Vasse Diversion Drain culverts, Vasse surge barrier and the sand bar at Wonnerup.

GeoCatch Chair, Felicity Bradshaw, said that it was important for community members to witness how all the pieces of the drainage puzzle fit together.

“The opportunity to see the flood protection infrastructure and hear from managers was invaluable,” she said.

“It puts everything into perspective when you can visualise components like the Vasse River culverts and surge barrier and see how it all works as a system.”

Attendees were less concerned about flood risk after seeing the strategies in place to protect Busselton from flooding. Confidence in the science underpinning the region’s flood protection strategy also rated very high following the tour as community members learnt how modelling and ongoing monitoring informs decisions.

James Clothier attended to see how the constructed and natural waterways work together.

“It was fascinating to see the way the engineering works and how we try and marry it up to what the natural environment is,” James said.

“Great to see that we are trying to improve how we do that and trust nature to do some of the work as well.”

Debbie and Marty Brown recently moved to Busselton and joined the bus tour to find out how the drain network impacts the Vasse River.

“A lot of people say you’ve got to divert all the water back down the river but obviously you can’t do that, otherwise it’s going to flood,” said Marty.

“You just hear so many stories from many different people, you don’t know what’s going on and what to believe. Now we’ve actually seen it in person,” said Debbie.

The tour was organised as a collaboration between GeoCatch, Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and Water Corporation.

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