A devastating aerial image has laid bare the shocking extent of raging floodwater surrounding Melbourne’s controversial flood wall at the Flemington Racecourse.
While the Melbourne Cup ground was green and its tracks clearly visible from the sky, it was surrounded almost entirely by brown floodwater from the swollen nearby Maribyrnong River.
Only the tops of a few trees and sheds could be seen from above, while the racecourse’s grandstands appeared as they would during a sunny Spring Carnival event.
Residents of Maribyrnong have been fuming over the course’s flood wall, which many believe exacerbated the effects of the flood and pushed water towards their homes.
More than 60 homes in Maribyrnong were inundated by floodwater on Friday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday a review would be conducted into whether the flood wall worsened the damage caused to nearby homes.
“Melbourne Water will conduct a thorough review of this flood event and any impact that wall had on this flood event,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
The Victorian Greens has called on Racing Victoria to pick up the bill for damage caused to homes next to the racecourse.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Racing Club chairman Mike Symons congratulated his predecessor and the Victorian Racing Committee for their investment in the wall 15 years ago.
“Credit to former chairman Michael Burn & VRC committee for the considerable investment into the bund wall to prevent the 100 year flood event from impacting the Melbourne Cup carnival,” he wrote to social media.
His post left Melbourne residents furious.
“Yeah! Great success in redirecting flood water away from a natural water catchment plain and into people’s houses that they had to evacuate! But thank goodness the horses have somewhere to run next week,” one person sarcastically remarked.
“Ah yes so thankful an open patch of empty land was saved and the water directed into people’s homes instead,” someone else said.
“So do they get the credit for flooding the neighbouring houses?” a third wrote.
A resident told Herald Sun they weren’t certain if the wall made the flooding worse for residents, but felt it was still “a bit dodgy”.
“It’s hard to say what would have happened if the flood gates weren’t there because there was just so much rain, but the fact that it’s pushed all the rain back on to us is a bit dodgy,” they told the publication.
“I know that Victoria would have lost millions of dollars if the spring racing carnival was cancelled, but it’s going to cost millions either way in damages to homes.”
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