LETTER: Premier taking action on flood mitigation
A VERY dedicated group of citizens in this city have worked tirelessly since the 2013 flooding catastrophe to motivate the Bundaberg Regional Council and the then LNP government to come up with plans and funding to carry out flood mitigation work for Bundaberg and environs.
This group of volunteers are titled the Burnett River Communities Flood Prevention Organisation, or in short the BRCFPO.
The group lobbied very strongly to make flood mitigation happen, only to be put on a blame each-other merry-go-round by the council and the then sitting government.
The council engaged a firm of engineers to look into the problem and paid them a considerable amount of rate payers funds to carry out the task.
The engineers under council guidance were given parameters in which to investigate and they duly completed the job.
That is where it all fell apart and stopped due to ineptness from the council.
The BRCFPO, as stated prior, tried in vain to get these two bodies to get on with the job, this went on for two years, endless meetings all to no avail.
Then finally approaching the second anniversary of the catastrophe luck for Bundaberg came to the table by virtue of the LNP calling a snap election that was to take place two days after the anniversary.
The BRCFPO, prior to this announcement, had organised a protest rally to show our disgust at the contempt that was shown for flood victims by the official parties.
The protest was given considerable media publicity and was considered a success by the organisers and disdain by the others.
This is where luck played its part.
The BRCFPO managed to obtain an election promise from the then opposition for them to instigate a plan for the flood mitigation as part of their policy.
In the election process Bundaberg voters demonstrated their dislike of the LNP by creating a 19% swing against the sitting member and we had a new government.
Over the past few months publicly both the council and the LNP member for Burnett Stephen Bennett have constantly ridiculed the new government by sarcastically suggesting and asking when Bundaberg was going to get flood mitigation, which was of course something that they never achieved when they could have.
That was answered on Monday, October 19. Our premier announced that as from then a process has been instigated at the government's top level to start a plan for flood mitigation of our city, this plan will be instigated over a 10-year period with no ifs or buts.
This does not mean that flooding for us all will cease to exist but it will mean that it will be minimised to the greatest extent possible.
This fantastic news for our city has been achieved not by the council or the LNP but by a new government that in the short space of eight months of coming into power has shown enough care about the welfare of Bundaberg citizens to do something that the others did not do.
So all the knockers and non-believers out there get behind the real deal and contribute to the process and stop the criticism of a government that is actually doing something for us all to benefit from.
Sharon, for the BRCFPO