News

Forest Hill needs action on flood levee

LEVEE DOUBTS: Ray Hawley says he’s no longer sure a levee is the best solution to Forest Hill’s flood issues.
LEVEE DOUBTS: Ray Hawley says he’s no longer sure a levee is the best solution to Forest Hill’s flood issues. Derek Barry

RAY Hawley has "only" lived in Forest Hill 10 years, so he is not yet game to call himself a local.

But Ray, who has lived in the Valley for 30 years, is a valuable member of the community and was one of many to put his hand up to help during the town's major flood on January 11, 2011.

Ray calls himself one of the lucky ones - his house stayed dry, while many others went under.

But he still remembers the day very well.

"I got a call early in the morning to say the gully was flooding," Ray said.

Ray said he immediately swung into action and got the key to open the hall.

He stayed there all day, monitoring people coming through and noting the names in his notebook.

"The hall became an evacuation centre for families, as well as for cats and dogs," he said.

As the weather worsened during the day, a decision was taken to evacuate the town and army crews arrived in Blackhawk helicopters to ferry people to the Gatton Showgrounds.

"The choppers kept coming, unless the lightning got too close," he said.

"The rain was so heavy, you couldn't see them through the trees."

Ray and a local policeman helped find people who were reluctant to leave and eventually there were only a dozen or so people left in town, including Ray.

"By about 4pm the storm was downgraded and we were given the all-clear," he said.

"So I never got my ride in the chopper."

After a quiet night, people started arriving back in the morning, to assess the damage.

"We're a little community and we took care of the clean-up ourselves," Ray said.

Ray said he was unsure whether a levee was the best solution to future flood events.

"There already is a levee in town - the railway," he said.

"I'm no engineer but I know that when you work with dirt, you often shift the problem, not solve it.

"There were 25 to 30 houses flooded. Maybe it's better to lift them up and let the water get away quickly."

Meanwhile Lockyer Valley Mayor Steve Jones has refused to progress the levee for the town until Queensland Rail take action on the railway.

Cr Jones told a Forest Hill public meeting there was no point in building a levee if the water could not get away under a levee.

However the Mayor refused a suggestion from State MP Ian Rickuss to share their flood findings with QR.

Cr Jones said QR should do its own flood work "so Council doesn't get the blame".

The Mayor said Council would send further information to Forest Hill landholders and have individual one-on-one meetings before calling another public meeting in November.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bowls day to support Blue Care

CELEBRATION: The winners, The Aces, Bob Gelharr, Les Derry, Steve Warren and Richard Brown.

Bowlers hit the greens to raise money for Blue Care.

Jeremy has new lease on life after landing job at Gray's

FRESH START: Gray's Furniture owner and manager Paula Gray with her new employee Jeremy Morris and APM consultant Gavin Homes.

After gaining help from APM, Jeremy Morris is thriving in new job.

Les Prince is a knight in shining armour

THE PRINCES: Pauline and Les  at the Pioneer Village for the 2016 Laidley Heritage Festival.

Gatton's Les Prince loves to lend a hand.

Local Partners

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

David Attenborough on facing his mortality

Sir David Attenborough in a scene from the TV special The Death of the Oceans.

Life without Sir David Attenborough is hard to imagine

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!