03 April 2014

Brown Hill Creek Letter causes some concern

The letter below has been distributed to residents and appears on the Council website. It is causing some concern for residents. The concerns centre around just what 'investigating a creek upgrade means'. It does not mean, as loudly toted by Mitcham residents, a no dam solution, and it does not mean no culverts in Unley. However, it does mean that Councils will investigate a variety of means to allow a delivery of more water flow through the natural water course. This means in the first instance seeking consent from land owners to return the creek to its natural flow of 18 cubic metres per sec (it is currently restricted to 9). This should be able to be achieved by removing the feral vegetation and other obstacles in the creek bed. If you doubt the necessity for this stand on the bridge on Malcolm St and look south. The other option is to additionally widen and deepen the creek bed (with consent of owners). In my speech at Council, when this item was debated, I expressed my concerns at this option as believe it will be unworkable. If this is the case then  a dam will still need to be built. While I understand that the flood data has been updated in line with more recent rainfall patterns this information has not been given to Councillors even though it has been requested. It seems more and more that the state government should be intervening in this project (and should have done years ago) and implementing the best solution at their own expense expediently.

Further Update on the Brown Hill Keswick Creek Stormwater Project

You may recall my message in January this year regarding Council’s resolution to seek a viable stormwater mitigation option that does not involve the construction of high flow culverts in Unley streets.
Based on updated information, investigations now indicate that a feasible solution for the upper Brown Hill Creek catchment is to upgrade the existing creek at critical sections. Possible works could include widening the creek bed and stabilising the creek banks. Under this option, an easement over the creek and its banks may be necessary to ensure access for ongoing maintenance. It is important to note however, that use of the land adjacent to the creek banks would not be restricted (as was proposed in the 2004 Ministerial Plan Amendment Report).
A creek upgrade option would not require bypass culverts in the streets of Unley or detention dam(s) to be built as proposed in the current Brown Hill Keswick Creek Stormwater Management Plan.
As reported in the previous newsletter, at its November meeting Council resolved:
‘The final report acknowledges that many Unley residents will not accept any option that has high flow culverts in Unley streets and seeks to find a viable option that achieves this.’
In February, Unley Council endorsed the following recommendations:
  1. The BHKC Steering Committee place priority on investigating a creek upgrade solution for the upper reaches of Brown Hill Keswick Creek.
  2. Following consideration by the 5 Councils, specific community engagement occurs with property owners to identify any potential issues associated with this solution.
The other four Councils working on this project (Mitcham, West Torrens, Adelaide and Burnside) have also endorsed these recommendations.
Council is contacting owners and residents of properties along critical sections of the creek where work is likely to be required to invite them to a local area meeting. This will be followed by individual meetings with affected property owners to discuss remedial creek works that may be required together with any issues and opportunities associated with such works.
Feedback from affected property owners will assist Councils to weigh up the relative merits of various options prior to going out to wider community engagement.
Unley Council is committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for our residents – to protect houses and businesses from flooding with the least environmental, social and financial impacts on our community.
Yours sincerely
Lachlan Clyne

24 March 2014


  1. Council should go for the dam option in Mitcham and leave the creeks alone in Millswood.

  2. I still believe that a dam must be built, although clearing the creek of feral vegetation and repairing areas narrowed through poor maintenance should be good practice. Land owners are required to maintain their own section of the creek and many simply do not do this.

  3. One should listen to the Worley Parsons Reports. Effective flood mitigation warrants the use of flood mitigation dam.