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10 May 2022

Coalition promises $9.5m to overhaul Mount Bold dam to stop repeat of 2016 floods │ The Advertiser


The Mount Bold Dam is set to be overhauled with a Coalition investment worth $9.5m, in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the damaging Old Noarlunga floods in 2016.

South Australian Liberal senator Andrew McLachlan will unveil the investment for the state’s largest dam on Monday, spruiking that the project would help prevent devastating floods in the Adelaide Hills and southern suburbs.

“The recent floods along Australia’s eastern seaboard have once again demonstrated the devastation that can be wrought by major floods in this country,” Senator McLachlan said.

“This funding will support increasing the level of flood attenuation provided, while Mount Bold Dam is being upgraded, to safely pass the probable maximum flood over the dam’s spillways, without causing it to fail.”

In 2016, parts of Old Noarlunga were flooded twice in a matter of months. Senator McLachlan said some residents have had their insurance premiums increase by a whopping 600 per cent since then.

Liberal candidates Kathleen Bourne, for Kingston, and Allison Bluck, for Mayo, will use the announcement for a boost to their local campaigns on Monday.

“These upgrades provide an extra level of protection for the Old Noarlunga community in relation to any future flood events in the lower Onkaparinga river system,” Ms Bourne said.

Ms Bluck said the dam held the state’s largest reservoir and it was “vital” to maintain the infrastructure.

Opposition leader David Speirs, who opened several SA reservoirs for the public while Environment Minister, will also help spruik the announcement on Monday.

For years SA Water has been planning major safety upgrades for the dam.

As far back as 2019, the Onkaparinga Council called for SA Water to include better flood protection included in the plans.

Last month The Advertiser revealed the Whispering Wall – the 120-year-old dam retaining the Barossa Reservoir – failed a crucial safety test that showed it could burst and flood a quarter of Gawler and Angle Vale.

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