LETTER: 'step up protection against flooding'
IN THE aftermath of the worst flooding in more than 150 years, the community of the Bundaberg region was asked to provide a wide range of ideas about how the impacts of future flooding could be reduced.
A Community Reference Group was established from volunteers to collate those suggestions and establish a list of proposals that were both feasible and affordable.
The CRG worked with flood engineers from GHD and experts from within Bundaberg Regional Council's engineering department to achieve this and presented a list of options to the BRC for consideration in December 2013.
Under pressure to complete the whole process within a very short timeframe, the council presented a final list of proposals to the State Government in February.
The proposals involved both flood mitigation and better evacuation options and included:
1.A levee and floodgate system to protect much of East and South Bundaberg as well as much of the CBD,
2. The raising of Hinkler Ave to at least 2013 flood height (in the form of a bridge) to allow residents north of the river to be able to evacuate to the support facilities which are mostly south of the river via the Tallon Bridge,
3. Dredging and widening the river in the Millaquin/Mariners' Way section of the river to lower flooding in the town reach.
To date none of these very important and community recognised proposals have been publicly addressed by the State Government, despite assurances from the Member for Burnett at a public meeting in North Bundaberg that "money would be not be a problem; it might just take a little time".
We have seen money spent on repairing infrastructure and hiding the effects of the flooding, but except for a small levee near Technology Park and the announcement of raising some roads in North Bundy and at Branyan, nothing has been forthcoming about those projects that would make future flood events far less traumatic and dangerous as well as protecting a lot of private and public property and infrastructure.
The money spent on replacing the unnecessary Riverside Walkway in Brisbane would have gone a long way toward genuinely protecting residents of the Bundaberg region.
It is time for Minister Crisafulli and the Premier to ensure that these proposals, put forward in due process, are advanced to complete planning and contracts for their completion need to be called.
Your department has been sitting on them for too long already.