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Flood warning system vandalism upsets chief

Wimmera Catchment Management Authority chief executive David Brennan has expressed disappointment after the second act of vandalism and theft to the region’s flood warning system in 10 months.
The ongoing vandalism has prompted the CMA to enlist the help of a security firm to track stolen equipment and present evidence to the police.
Vandals caused an estimated $800 damage to a stream gauge near Gross’ Bridge upstream of Horsham. This follows $3700 damage to a stream gauge below Lake Lonsdale near Stawell last May.
In the most recent case, vandals removed the solar panels and batteries which power remote electronic communications. Last year vandals broke the box that housed the gauge, damaged the electronic system and stole solar panels that powered the gauge.
The flood warning gauges are part of the Wimmera emergency response system and capture information about flows and water quality across the catchment. They feed data into computer models to provide river condition information to the community via weather websites, bulletins and predictions.
Mr Brennan said that during flood events, the system became even more crucial for the community and agencies including the Bureau of Meteorology, State Emergency Services, local government, GWMWater and Wimmera CMA.
“What can I say apart from the fact that we’re extremely disappointed at such blatant vandalism after the trauma of major flooding across our region is still so fresh in people’s minds,” Mr Brennan said.

  • Get the full story in the March 29, 2012 edition of The Weekly Advertiser.

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Posted on Mar 28 2012

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