November 11, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo

Much of Victoria is still facing business disruption with more than 438 roads currently closed according to VicRoads, and warnings about threats to the Murray and Goulburn River communities, including a major business events development in Mildura.

VicRoads says areas of concern “extend along the Murray River from Robinvale to Wodonga, including Echuca, Kerang and Cobram, and along the Goulburn River between Seymour and Lake Eildon”.

While the Bureau of Meteorology reports the Murray River is falling at towns between Albury and Swan Hill, water levels are still rising further downstream to Wentworth. Armies of volunteers are still busy sandbagging to construct or reinforce levees around business premises.

Because it has been a relatively slow-moving event, most locations were well prepared. However Mildura is concerned at just how high the water will rise, with it having already flooded one of the town’s locks.

Mildura’s city council is concerned that the water could exceed a record 1974 flood event, which will impact the riverfront Powerhouse project. This $6 million project is being developed with federal and state funding to establish a major event destination for the city.

Construction of the second stage of the precinct commenced in March and was expected to be complete by mid-2023. It will comprise flexible indoor and outdoor event spaces, transformation of the former Powerhouse basement space into a new purpose-built venue, visitor interpretation and inspiration spaces, plus a purpose-built events kitchen.

Overnight Mildura was also facing a severe thunderstorm event with heavy rainfall and large hailstones expected. The riverfront Mildura Lawn Tennis Club, which stages a summer pro tennis event, expects its courts to remain flooded for months. The club is also popular as a business events venue.