This week’s flood inquiry hearings have revealed the heavy bureaucratic burden placed on regional
councils The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria Gaelle Broad said today.
“Recovery is being delayed by Government red tape. Local councils are being asked to jump through
complicated bureaucratic hoops, instead of getting on with the job of repairing vast damage from the
floods,” Ms Broad said.
Ms Broad said proof of the flood damage demanded by the Government was ridiculous.
“Small regional councils should be focused on flood recovery, not piles of paperwork.
Gannawarra Shire has been required to provide evidence including newspaper clippings, Bureau of
Meteorology warnings and Facebook posts to show the impact of the floods.
“They are wasting valuable resources struggling to meet the Labor Government’s onerous demands.
Ms Broad said.
Loddon Shire CEO Lincoln Fitzgerald, who presented at an earlier public hearing told the committee:
‘The evidence burden is totally unrealistic. You have to have evidence prior to and after the event. In
Loddon’s case we have got 4800 kilometres of roads, for goodness sake. How do we have photos of
that length of road, and what does a photo tell you? … A photo does not show you that you are
missing the fine particles in your road that gave it integrity’
He said if the road damage could not be demonstrated through photos, then “secondary evidence”
was required, such as maintenance logs and other information, which was then sent to the
Department of Transport and Planning for assessment.
He said the council had to repair the roads, but did not know if it would get the money back from the
‘So we are writing blank cheques here and it is very distressing when we are running such financially
At the public inquiry Gaelle Broad also asked what the Government intended to do to alleviate the
massive financial gap experienced by small rural councils struggling to recover following the floods,
including Gannawarra, which faces a potential $2.74 million deficit.
“The Department are still processing claims from 2021. State and Federal governments need to work
together to fast track this process,” Ms Broad said.
Media Contact: Linda Barrow 0484 303 764 firstname.lastname@example.org