Flood mitigation action is 'too slow'
MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett has slammed the Palaszczuk government for failing to follow through on its promise to flood proof the Bundaberg region.
But Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the State Government is with the region every step of the way and he will be visiting Bundaberg shortly to check on flood mitigation progress.
Mr Bennett said he had enough of waiting for construction to begin on mitigation projects.
"A year ago we had Labor Government Ministers standing up on the banks of the Burnett River with the then Labor local MP promising boots on the ground to get the work done,” Mr Bennett said.
"Where's the $4 million, 10-year plan on flood mitigation our community was promised?
"The silence coming from this government is deafening.
"This lazy, heartless government just keeps stringing our community along.”
Mr Bennett said he was sick and tired of seeing study after study on flood mitigation which was not producing any new outcomes.
"We need real leadership to get on with the job and start building and delivering these mitigation projects that the LNP had already started,” he said.
"Time for talk is well and truly over. Our community deserves action.”
Mr Hinchliffe said he had recently visited and met with flood affected residents to see first-hand the issue.
"I'll be returning to Bundaberg to check on the progress of our 10-Year Action Plan,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
"Community consultation on all the options is a vital part of delivering projects that do the job that the Bundaberg community deserve.
"There are strong views, and we want to hear them.
"We have hired the best expertise in the world to give us advice.
"With that advice in hand, it is essential that the Government talks to those that have been affected in ways that they and their families will never forget.
"But I do know that people are anxious to see work begin, and with good reason.
"They've been through an experience most of us can never imagine.
"I'd ask them to make sure they get along to remaining consultation sessions.
"Since the Bundaberg 10-year Action Plan was announced, local and international experts have been investigating the four options identified in the flood study.
"Technical findings and project designs have been presented at recent community sessions in relation of the Upper Floodplain Evacuation Improvements project.
"These sessions provided valuable feedback and planning for the next project consultation in May is well advanced.
"No decisions have been made to build any of the options.
"These community sessions and technical investigations will guide the projects to the next stage of finalising designs and costings, before a further decision is made.”
WORK SO FAR INCLUDES;
. CDM Smith expert personnel visited from the United States to assess the levee alignment options and familiarise themselves with the conditions and gather technical information to also commence concept design options for flood gates and pump stations.
. Geotechnical investigations for the Bundaberg East levee were successfully carried out in November led by Bundaberg's CM Testing Service.
. Aerial drone surveys were conducted in October over the areas of Bundaberg North, Bundaberg East and Morganville to inform concept design.
. Internationally recognised experts from SMEC, Jacobs, and CDM Smith along with local Bundaberg firm Harrison Infrastructure Group (HIG) are actively progressing development of the various flood risk mitigation options.
THE PROJECTS TO BE INVESTIGATED IN THE BUNDABERG 10-YEAR ACTION PLAN ARE;
. Bundaberg North Evacuation Route Improvements to give a large number of residents better access to the Don Tallon Bridge
. Bundaberg East Levee to provide a moderate to high reduction in flood risk for a large part of Bundaberg East, South and parts of the CBD.
. Upper Floodplain Evacuation Improvements will significantly reduce the time the towns of Goodnight Scrub, Morganville, Pine Creek, Givelda and Electra would be isolated.
. Floodway House Purchase Scheme for the voluntary purchase or relocation through a land-swap of select residential blocks in Bundaberg North that are deemed to be in a floodway with high depths and velocities.