Uncertainty clouds ditch flood issue

20/08/2019 Posted by admin

FLOOD: Eflem Sartor at the ditch by his property failing to remove water from the Rankins Springs Road.
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Uncertainty surrounds responsibility for a destructive drainage ditch off the Rankins Springs Road and landowner Eflem Sartor is fed up.

Hidden on his right and filled to capacity with thick grass and weeds, theditch issupposed to remove water from the Rankins Springs Road.

But instead it brings a flood of water right into Mr Sartor’s machinery shed and further onto his property.

“Every time it rains again I think ‘here we go again’,” Mr Sartorsaid on Tuesday.

“The grass is too thick for anything to go through and so it all ends up in my shed.

“I’ve had to pull the machinery out because it keeps sinking into the mud.”

In January of last year it abruptly became too much for Mr Sartor and he made a formal complaint to Griffith City Council who he says are responsible for the maintenance of the drain.

In the meantime he built a bank to protect his land, but it proved no match against the water and so again in September he asked council to do something.

While council’s initial response suggested it had been too wet to address the issue, a deeper inspection they say has revealed further uncertainty as to who has responsibility for the drain.

“From a council point of view ownership of this drain is not clear,” council’s director of utilities Graham Gordon said.

“There is no easement over this drain and there is no jurisdiction for council to go in there.

“We have looked at the issue and we have sent staff out but it is just not clear.”

While Mr Gordon, along withdirector of infrastructure and operations Phil King andManjit Chugha, all believed the drain was in a grey area they said they would now do all they could to help look for a solution.

“We’re not going to ignore it,” Mr King said.

Council have contacted Murrumbidgee Irrigation and are working together to resolve the issue of who has responsibility.

Irrespective of who has responsibility, Mr Sartor said the ditchwill be a big job to fix.

“Spraying it now won’t work,” he said.

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