This time last year a significant rain event caused already swollen waterways to spill into towns across the Central West leaving communities like Bathurst, Forbes, Eugowra, Molong and Condobolin devastated.
On 14 November 2022, residents of Bathurst stood wet underfoot, watching the rapidly rising waters of the Macquarie River divide the town in two. The Great Western Highway was closed at Kelso, where water submerged the busy road.
75 local government areas were declared as natural disaster zones, and many are still recovering today.
Locally, it has only been in the last month that works began to restore Freemantle Road, which was completely swept away by flood waters. At the time, over 12 roads in Bathurst were closed due to flooding, and the Macquarie River peaked above 5 metres.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said when the Chifley Dam was overflowing it was releasing an Olympic-sized swimming pool worth of water every second.
“Being Deputy Premier at the time, I witnessed much of the devastation firsthand and spoke to residents who had lost their homes and livelihoods,” Mr Toole said.
“Fast forward 12 months, and it is still astounding to see that unbreakable community spirit that continues to shine through as we rebuild our towns and communities. “I also want to thank all of our emergency services personnel who went out of their way to put their own well-being at risk throughout this time of flooding to keep our communities as safe as possible. Your service has not been forgotten, and we are all grateful for your continued service.”