Monday, 28 Nov 2022

Racing Victoria chief says Flemington racetrack wall had unintended flood consequences

Racing Victoria chief says Flemington racetrack wall had unintended flood consequences


Racing Victoria chief says Flemington racetrack wall had unintended flood consequences

The flood wall built to protect Flemington racetrack from inundation has had "unintended consequences for neighbouring residents", the chief executive of Racing Victoria has conceded, as homes surrounding the track began the clean-up from devastating floods.

Andrew Jones told Channel Nine the flooding of the suburbs of Maribyrnong and Kensington was "a difficult situation", and expressed sympathy for those affected.

"The VRC took steps to flood-protect its property 15 years ago, which it's entitled to do, [and] that's obviously had unintended consequences for neighbouring residents," he said. "I know that bit of Kensington quite well, I walk through there every morning on the way to work."

Residents in neighbouring suburbs say the Victorian Racing Club's decision to build a flood wall along the side of the track by the Maribyrnong River pushed flood waters away from the track and into their homes.

Jones said: "Obviously there was no intention of the VRC to cause harm. They tried to protect the spring carnival and the Melbourne Cup carnival, which is a massively important part of Victorian life and the Victorian economy, so I think this is an unintended consequence."

Local historian and long-term Footscray resident Liz Crash said the Maribyrnong River rarely broke its banks, but when it did, historically, "you got a very shallow flood for miles around".

She said infill housing developments, approved by state governments and encroaching further and further on to the flood plain, had made that flooding more damaging.

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