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  2. Minister Must Give Hunter Water the Authority to Fix Flooding Infrastructure

Minister Must Give Hunter Water the Authority to Fix Flooding Infrastructure

Media Releases

State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, will today debate a Motion in the NSW Parliament calling on the Water Minister to direct Hunter Water to deliver the much needed infrastructure work on its stormwater assets in the Wallsend CBD.

Ms Hornery tabled a Notice of Motion in Parliament and today will get the opportunity to debate the Motion.

Hunter Water had previously advised Ms Hornery that without a regulatory requirement from the Minister to address flooding, they would not be committing funding to fix the flooding problem in the Wallsend CBD.

The Notice of Motion calls on the Minister to give Hunter Water the Ministerial, Legislative or Regulatory requirement to undertake the widening of their stormwater assets.

“It has been 13 years since the storm and tempest besieged Wallsend,” said Ms Hornery.

“In the years since, particularly in 2015, floods have threatened damage on a similar scale. In fact, twice this year, sufficient rain caused fear for our businesses and residents.”

“Finally, we have a chance to complete necessary flood mitigation works in Wallsend. The City of Newcastle replaced the Tyrrell Street Bridge earlier this year, months ahead of schedule, and has committed funds to do the remainder of its works, including replacing the Boscawen and Nelson Street bridges and the culvert underneath Cowper Street.

“Widening the stormwater canals would provide a welcome reassurance to residents and business owners in the Wallsend area that their investment in the local area will not be threatened the next time an East Coast Low causes large-scale flooding.

“Hunter Water acknowledge that they need to do the work and they put that to their customers as part of their IPART application, but have advised me that without Ministerial direction, they will not be undertaking the necessary work.

“The Water Minister needs to step in and give Hunter Water the authority to deliver this important infrastructure upgrade for the Wallsend Electorate.

“Last year, the Government required Hunter Water to pay a $100 million dividend, which was funded with Treasury Corporation bonds. Now that interest rates are at record lows and spending is needed more than ever, the Minister should direct Hunter Water to spend the money, widen the canal, ensure the safety of Wallsend residents and businesses and stimulate the Wallsend economy.

“It’s time Minister, time to fix the flooding issues in Wallsend and you can do it with the stroke of a pen,” Ms Hornery said.