Western New South Wales locals rejoice as floodwater heads further into outback

Date: 2021-12-17 03:58:04

Floodwater in Western New South Wales is continuing to isolate communities, with some towns bracing for the loss of road access this weekend.

But the further into the outback the water gets, the more people are looking forward to the extra inflows and the environmental benefits that come with them.

“It’s looking good, it’s nice and high,” Brewarrina local Bradley Hardy said.

Mr Hardy runs tours of the Brewarrina fish traps, one of the oldest man made structures in the world.

Historians believe the traps are about 60,000 years old.

Bradley Hardy says the Brewarrina community is in high spirits.(ABC Western Plains: Gary-Jon Lysaght)

Mr Hardy said the fish traps were under water at the moment, which made doing tours of them “difficult”.

“But it is great to see it like this,” he said.

“We’ve got to go through floods and it’s great — it gets all that stuff going, which is good when you haven’t seen gullies running for a while.

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The river at Brewarrina has risen higher than five metres and the State Emergency Service is expecting moderate flooding just before Christmas.

The Barwon River at Walgett may reach the major flood level on Monday, with some small Aboriginal communities likely to be cut off for up to 14 days.

The SES previously asked people in those villages to consider relocating to the homes of friends or family.

An aerial shot of rock formations in a waterway.
The ancient Brewarrina fish traps are currently underwater, as is the town’s weir.(ABC New England: Jennifer Ingall)

Spirits rise with river

Mr Hardy said having so much water in the river helped boost the spirits of the community.

“It just lifts the tempo of the towns in our region,” he said.

“The river’s our blood, it’s our identification, it brings the community together.

“If Bourke’s getting it, if Walgett’s getting it, all these places are getting water, that’s good, because they’re where we never got anything.

“When it’s been dry for years, if you get rain grass comes back — all the great stuff comes back after water.


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