New South Wales
Firstly let me say that I don't specifically object to the project, but I do object to the project in its current form. My area of concern is flood mitigation and the effect on the current inhabitants of the South St Marys ( South Creek/Byrnes Creek ) area. My wife and I have lived here for 34 years on Dec 6 2020 and love the area, it is a great community with great people, plenty of things to do and the town centre within walking distance. If it has one downside it is the proximity to South Creek and the water flows that have changed over the years with contruction of the suburb of St Clair, industrial expansion and infrastructure improvements with zero change to the waterways and drainage systems. This is my reason for concern.In your Environmental impact Statement page 14-8 it says"the main South Creek channel has the highest hazard vulnerability classification and should be avoided during a flood event.Large ares of the South Creek floodplain are also unsafe for vehicles and people and all building types are vulnerable to structural damage." We were flooded from South Creek in 1988, complete devastation, not covered by insurance as it was caused by the Great Western Highway upgrade ( according to the NRMA ) and unless we had the money to fight the RTA we had to fix it ourselves. Now every time there is a decent downpoor the area is inundated again, even as of February 2020 there were dwellings underwater. If it rains for more than a day, then the locals are out watching the water rise and praying for the rain to cease. So issue number 1 is Please will the hydrologist and engineers consider putting upgraded drainage systems in place to protect the people and the homes in this area?
In the EIS you state "Changes to the flooding regime as a result of construction activities have the potential to impact properties by increasing flood levels, also you say safety risks associated with high velocities and/or deep water constitue a hazard to workers and personnel.
If you already acknowledge that increase flood levels could cause major damage and potentially death, shouldn't that be addressed prior to work commencing. It must be considered a major issue as the EIS says FLOOD PROOFING will be provided at construction sites but nothing for the residents.
It also states that the stabling and marshalling facility will be raised to prevent flooding, yet the residents in the same area get no assistance when, in effect, the raising of the ground will increase the volume and velocity of the water running towards dwellings ?
It is also noted that "water captured within the St Marys to Orchard Hills tunnel would be pumped to St Marys Station for treatment and discharge", this is what we have wanted to happen to South Creek all along, pump the water via pipeline to an area that has the capability to handle the volume. And you will need the biggest pump you can find because in February 2020 when the Great Western Highway was closed due to flooding the major impact was exactly where the tunnel is going to be, unless they are planning on running submarines then the tunnels during a heavy downpour will all be completely underwater.
We hope that whatever contingency plan they have in place to eleviate this will also divert the water from the South St Marys area and we can live in peace.
It does surprise me to read "no change to peak flood levels, unless otherwise agreed with the affected property owner", speaking to residents in the Sth St Marys area no one has been contacted so are we to assume that you can guarantee no more flood issues ?
Please consider the residents from the kids to the retirees who live in this area, we all are aware that we will be affected by aircraft noise, increased traffic and increased human traffic once this project is finished, please don't make us walk the floor all night every time it rains wondering when we will go under!
I do have photographic evidence to add but it could not be uploaded.