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Buloke's Flood Damaged Roads Assessment Underway

Buloke’s Flood Damaged Roads Assessment Underway

Publish Date: 7 November 2022


The October flooding event affecting many areas across Victoria, has impacted communities, industries and community assets, including Buloke’s expansive road network.

Buloke Shire Council will be seeking substantial government investment to undertake the mammoth task of repairing their flood affected roads.

Council reported 90 roads among its network as closed on Tuesday.

“Rest assured that Council is giving attention to all corners of the Shire, and is responding to requests made by the Victorian State Emergency Service (VicSES) Incident Controller regarding potential ongoing flood risks,” said Mayor Cr Daryl Warren.

With harvest just on Buloke’s doorstep and the potential for more rainfall and flooding in our catchments, it is important to identify essential routes to keep our economy and essential services going.

“We might get you to the paddock, but it might not be the usual way you get there,” said Mayor Warren.

Council will be conducting drop-in information sessions to outline the draft strategy for prioritisation of the opening of roads for community consideration and feedback.

The sessions will be conducted at:


• Charlton – 2pm Thursday 10 November at the Charlton Hall, 11 Armstrong Street, Charlton.
• Wycheproof – 10am Friday 11 November at Wycheproof Shire Hall, 367 Broadway, Wycheproof.
• Sea Lake – 3pm Friday 11 November at the Sea Lake Community Complex, Complex Drive, Sea Lake.
• Donald – 11am Monday 14 November at the Donald Hall, 35 McCulloch Street, Donald.
• Birchip – 3pm Monday 14 November at the Birchip Hall, 81 Cumming Avenue, Birchip.


Works crews are currently undertaking initial assessments of Council-owned closed roads, giving priority to sealed roads, as well as emergency access, school bus and grain receival routes, ahead of a formal inspection and assessment to estimate the full extent of the damage.

“This is a massive undertaking considering Buloke is responsible for approximately 5,300kms of road network, with 1000km being sealed roads,” he added.

The damage varies from potholes, ruined road shoulders, culvert damage, to sink holes and the complete destruction of some surfaces.

“Works crews identified over 80 hazards or defects in just one stretch of road,” he said.

“It is necessary that these asset inspections are completed thoroughly, and in accordance with the guidelines, so Council is well positioned to seek the level of government funding it will need.

There’s no getting around the fact this is going to take time.”

Most of the Shire is now in the recovery phase, however in the area of Sea Lake, they are very much still in the response phase, Mayor Warren explained.

“There’s a lot going on, and all I ask of our community is to please be patient.

We understand our community’s frustration, but please do not remove road signs until these roads have been assessed, or attempt to drive through, or dismantle levee infrastructure.

“It’s important that we wait for these to be examined by engineers and to be directed by the responsible state authority, the approved course of action regarding flood mitigation works.”

The levee constructed on the back St Arnaud Road at Charlton, has now been removed, however the road remains closed until engineers have completed assessments and necessary repairs undertaken.

Council has reached out for support from other Councils, as well as private contractors to expand its team of engineers to hasten the assessment process and get roads open sooner for the community.

“Until these engineer’s inspections have been completed, Council can’t be certain of any timeframes for road repairs and reopening of sections of roads that require substantial works to be returned to a safe standard,” he said.

Mayor Warren added that Council has also taken every opportunity to advocate for financial support and assistance when meeting with government agencies, members of parliament and political candidates for election, who have visited Buloke in recent weeks.

“Buloke is one of 51 municipalities in Victoria that has been identified for government flood support. We are not on our own, and we will continue to advocate for Buloke and our community needs, as we have with the successful flood mitigation activity already undertaken.”

Minister Visit Hon Jaala Pulford MP

Members of the Municipal Operations Control Centre stationed at Council’s Wycheproof office, met with the Hon Jaala Pulford MP, Member for Western Victoria, last week. The Minister recently announced her retirement from politics. Pictured L-R: Municipal Emergency Management Officer, Dan McLoughlan, Emergency Relief Centre Manager, Rebecca Postlethwaite, Mayor Cr Daryl Warren, Hon Jaala Pulford MP, and the Minister’s chief of staff, Jarrod Dobson.