Giant sinkhole threatens to swallow Queensland homes
Residents in a Brisbane westside acreage suburb are hoping a $2.6 million Council rescue plan will finally stop runaway erosion that threatens to swallow their houses.
Homeowners in Illawong Way, Karana Downs, first began to raise the alarm in 2008/2009 when a gully began forming at the back of their properties.
Every time it rained heavily the gully became deeper and wider, claiming a retaining wall, fences, and even entire backyards.
Pia Godfrey said the situation got so bad at one stage her young daughter was too frightened to sleep in a rear bedroom because she had nightmares about being washed away.
"Our neighbours put in a complaint in 2009, the retaining wall collapsed after that and it got too dangerous for my three children to play in the backyard,'' she said.
"They have to play in the side yard and I've had to put in a hidden (electric) fence to make sure our dog (doesn't venture down the back).
"If nothing gets done it could threaten the house. The pergola has already been pulling away from the wall because of the slope.
"We would like to move but we can't sell until it's fixed up, and the neighbours are in the same position.''
One neighbour had to move their fence five times as the erosion crept closer and closer.
Residents blamed stormwater retention works at nearby Murray Park, despite Brisbane City Council previously insisting the damage was due to the 2011 floods.
But a solution is now be on the horizon after incoming Pullenvale ward councillor, Greg Adermann, secured more than $2.6 million in last week's Budget for engineering works.
Cr Adermann said the project would involve natural waterway rehabilitation and construction of drains along properties that backed on to the Brisbane River in Illawong Way.
"The project, achieved in collaboration with state Member for Moggill, Christian Rowan, will help rehabilitate the edge of Brisbane River that backs onto several Karana properties,'' he said.
"By minimising the damage we can prevent soil erosion in the future, which can pose a serious threat to the environment by polluting waterways, while also protecting properties from flooding.
"This is an outcome that is not only terrific for residents, but also for the environment."
Dr Rowan said he was glad Council was prioritising "this vital safety and environmental concern''.
Karana Downs resident Paul Lindsay, who has been lobbying for a fix since he moved into the street five years ago, said he was relieved remediation would begin.
"I really appreciate the support and action from both Cr Adermann and Dr Rowan to ensure this ongoing erosion could finally be addressed," Mr Lindsay said.
"I've actually not been affected but neighbours on either side have lost entire backyards.
"It's like a Grand Canyon - 6-7m wide and 7-8m deep, and it keeps getting bigger.''
He said the soil had washed into the river, which was harmful to the environment as well as damaging to properties.
Originally published as Giant sinkhole threatens to swallow Brisbane homes