Residents and businesses on the outskirts of Carnarvon face another summer without flood protection as delays continue over which safeguards to put in place.
Shire president Dudley Maslen said a "very advanced" plan for a levee system had been drawn up but the State Government was yet to give it final approval.
A levee, completed in the early 1990s, saved the Carnarvon townsite from December's record floods but the horticulture district was inundated.
A second stage of work to protect that area had been recommended but was never built.
"For 40 days after the floods, (flood mitigation) was of great interest to everyone," Mr Maslen said. "If it rains like that this summer it will happen again. I don't think it will, but you never know. It's our problem but it is a State responsibility."
Water Minister Bill Marmion said seven options for flood mitigation had been considered but the Government and shire were yet to choose the best one.
Main Roads was working on a construction schedule but it would be affected while Nickol Bay Flats, east of Carnarvon, was still flooded.
Mr Maslen said the area could be under water for another 12 months.
He said the shire had identified up to $50 million in Royalties for Regions funding that could be freed up by deferring other work, including Carnarvon's new airport and projects in the Exmouth and Shark Bay areas.
But Mr Maslen said he was concerned the project was being over-engineered and could be "costed out of possibility". Discussions in Parliament estimated the options could cost between $20 million and $100 million.
"I believe it will happen but we suffer huge frustration at the lag," he said.
The shire is seeking $25 million from the Federal Government's Regional Development Australia Fund. State and local governments can also apply for reimbursement of certain recovery costs from a national fund that includes $1.7 billion from the flood levy.
Alex Malloch, who owns BIG4 Plantation Caravan Park, said she would take her children to Busselton for the school holidays, leaving husband Matt to run the business.
"I just can't be here this summer," she said. "My husband and I are very close but I just don't have it in me, emotionally or physically, to do it again."
Plantation owner Tom Day said successive governments had procrastinated on the second stage of flood mitigation.
"We would have had half a metre less water through here, which means we would have saved our house," he said.The remaining $1.1 million from the Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund's flood appeal is expected to be distributed this month. About $1.4 million has been awarded to about 200 affected people.
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