Deviot Landslip Project
The Deviot Landslide Project was initiated by West Tamar Council in 2017 in response to the reactivation of a landslide that occurred in Brickmakers Point, Deviot as a result of the significant rainfall event of June 2016.
West Tamar Council was successful in securing funding through the Australian Government’s Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Program to initiate an investigation into the landslide.
Geotechnical Engineer, Dr Derek Pennington of Pennington Geotechnics was engaged by West Tamar Council in 2018 to conduct an investigation into the landslip to understand the casual factors related to the landslip and to provide recommendations for mitigating the risk of landslip in the future.
The project was overseen by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from:
West Tamar Council;
Department of Premier and Cabinet;
Mineral Resources Tasmania;
Crown Land Services; and the
The key objectives and scope of the project was to:
Design, supervise and peer review a geotechnical investigation program to achieve a greater understanding of landslip at Deviot;
Coordinate a forensic review of the existing investigation (a timeline);
Provide advice to Council with tender/contract process to appoint contractors to undertake field investigations and subsequent analysis and reporting; and
Write a concluding report summarising the investigation findings and addressing the aims in a form able to be understood by relevant parties.
A particular focus of the project was to ensure community engagement provided the opportunity for landowners most affected by the Brickmakers Point Landslip in Deviot to have input into the project. Dr Pennington engaged one on one with the affected landholders and held numerous on-site visits as part of his investigation. The project also included two community meetings in Deviot and the opportunity for affected landowners to tell their story and have this reflected in the report.
Following release of the Draft Report in May 2019, Council invited public comment on the report. Prior to finalising the report, the nine submissions received during the public comment period were included as an Appendix to the report to acknowledge the personal impact of the Landslip on the individuals most affected.
A copy of the Pennington Report titled Lower risk development and living with landslide in the Tamar, Deviot Landslide Project, August 2019 is available upon request by contacting the West Tamar Council.
The Pennington Report was finalised in August 2019 following the inclusion of an Appendix of nine submissions received from the two week Public Comment period which closed on 8 June 2018.
At the 20 August 2019 Council meeting, the Council unanimously agreed to the following recommendations:
That council receives the Report from the Deviot Landslip Steering Group dated 12 June 2019 as amended with the inclusion of an additional appendix reflecting community comment and some minor technical corrections to the report;
That Council proactively develops and implements a landslip program to act on recommendations in the Report (within its function and responsibility) and continues to act as an advocate on behalf of the community; and that Council
Forwards the Report to the Department of Premier and Cabinet for consideration.
While the project scope of the Pennington Report did not extend to consideration of financial assistance for affected landowners, the receipt of the report by council and the Department of Premier and Cabinet will provide the basis for this discussion to commence.
The West Tamar Council is committed to participating in discussions with the Tasmanian Government and acting as an advocate on behalf of the Deviot community to ensure that discussions regarding financial assistance are progressed in a timely manner.
West Tamar Council is proactively advocating for greater disclosure of information to perspective homeowners who are looking to purchase properties in landslip prone areas. To further this, council submitted a motion for consideration at the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT), 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) calling on the disclosure of landslip information on 337 certificates and reform in the Real Estate industry to require upfront disclosure of these risks to prospective purchasers prior to entering into legal contracts. This motion was endorsed at the LGAT AGM and West Tamar Council will continue to advocate for further progress in this area.
NEXT STEPS FOR COUNCIL:
The West Tamar Council is committed to building community resilience to natural hazards, providing information to people looking to develop or purchase properties in landslip areas and ensuring that council is actively managing and mitigating the risks of landslip that fall within its function and responsibilities to act on.
Council has initiated a Landslip Program which will be implemented over the next 12-18 months after which time the systems, processes and controls established will become core business as usual.
Council’s proposed Landslip Program has five key objectives:
1. Manage and mitigate the risks to council infrastructure from landslip including roads and stormwater assets whilst maintaining services to the community.
2. Establish integrated processes and controls across Building, Plumbing, Planning, Environmental Health and Engineering to mitigate the risk of landslip in new developments.
3. Build council's capacity, knowledge and awareness to effectively manage landslip mitigation programs and ensure sound advice and information is provided to customers.
4. Engage and consult with the community to establish effective community monitoring programs and the development of educational tools and resources.
5. Act as an advocate on behalf of the community and those impacted by landslip.
A copy of the Draft Project Plan Framework has been provided below and will form the basis of a more detailed project work plan developed by West Tamar Council over the coming months.