Residents criticise 'silence' over flood issues
WHILE the answers may not have been exactly what they were expecting, the more than 50 residents who attended a flood prevention meeting in North Bundaberg say they are happy just to be receiving information, and have criticised the council for its "silence".
Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett turned up to the meeting on Tuesday night to provide a State Government response to the seven questions put forward by the Burnett River Communities Flood Prevention Organisation.
No one from Bundaberg Regional Council - the mayor, councillors or representatives - attended, despite the group sending an invitation via the CEO last week.
"The council is treating citizens of this city with contempt," BRCFPO president Warren Osborne said.
Mr Osborne said with the one-year anniversary of the floods just days away, residents could not understand why the council would not release details of its final version of the Community Reference Group report.
The CRG handed its report to the council in mid-December, and it is the duty of the council now to hand on a final version to the State Government.
Mr Bennett agreed the council was avoiding the issue of listening to the people, and informed the audience that the mayor had said he had not been aware of the meeting.
Love or hate (the council), this is what we've got.
"I would encourage you all to keep your hearts and minds open," he said.
"Love or hate (the council), this is what we've got," he said.
"Clearly, (Mayor Mal Forman) has let you down to some degree, but I implore you to try to work through these contentious issues."
Mayor Mal Forman said he did not attend the meeting because he was unaware it was on.
"I didn't receive a formal invite from the meeting organisers," he said.
Cr Forman said the council had a track record of proactively communicating with the public.
"Last year council, in conjunction with engineering firm GHD, held 10 public information sessions across the region to better inform members of the public about recent weather events," he said.
"The feedback from the public in relation to the information supplied at the sessions was positive, with many thanking council staff for enlightening them about the information."
The council said the report to be handed to the State Government was "complex" and was yet to be progressed through to a formal council meeting.