Water woes are flooding in
NURSERYMAN James Matts can only watch as about $500,000 of his stock rots in the field, because of what he says are drainage problems Bundaberg Regional Council has failed to fix.
Mr Matts said he and his neighbours had been complaining for years about the inadequate drainage from their property that caused water to back up and flood their field in heavy rain.
The water is supposed to run away through a culvert under Martins Road, but Mr Matts, co-operator of Hilliers Horticulture, said the pipes were too narrow and often clogged up.
The problem has left water standing in the fields, which means he and his workers cannot save the plants.
Mr Matts, whose operation produces yuccas, dracaenas and cordylines for the cutting market, estimated he would lose about half his stock.
And since he cannot keep his workers employed, they will also suffer from the drainage problem.
Mr Matts’s predicament was just one of several that were reported yesterday.
John Canino, who farms cane and lucerne on Agnes Street in Bundaberg North, said yesterday he had up to a metre of water on about 30% of his property.
“I haven’t had a crop off some of these blocks for three years because of the drainage problems,” he said.
Mr Canino said the pipes that were supposed to drain the whole of Bundaberg North into the river were inadequate.
In Burnett Heads, Beth Williams said she and her husband Kevin had no drainage at all at their house.
She said water used to disperse within two days after rain, but now because of developments behind their property, it had nowhere to go and would sit there for two weeks.
Ms Williams said drainage had been an issue for some time.
Bundaberg Regional Council roads and drainage infrastructure portfolio Wayne Honor yesterday pledged to investigate any drainage problems that were reported to the council.
He asked residents to report any problems early.