Focus turns to territory flood planning

Flood-prone swathes of the Northern Territory are set to benefit from $50 million in flood mitigation works, following the controversial sale of the Territory Insurance Office (TIO).

The NT Government sold TIO to Allianz late last year for $424 million, motivated by the Abbott Government’s public assets sales initiative.

Half the funds will be used for works in Rapid Creek and the outskirts of Darwin, while the other $25 million is to be spent better preparing Katherine for floods.

The Katherine River broke its banks in 1998, inundating large parts of the town and causing insured losses of $70 million.

Works already planned for Katherine include moving its ambulance station out of the flood zone.

The NT Government has established two committees to determine how best to spend the funds, says Chief Minister Adam Giles.

“The goal of these committees is to guide the development of strategies which improve community safety, as well as reduce the damage, disruption and costs associated with major flood events,” he says.

“Flood mitigation is expensive work that no government has ever been willing to do before and I’m pleased that these two committees will start work next month.”

Each committee has until June to present a final report of recommendations to the government.