Grand plan Council's bold move
FEARS that Grantham may turn into a ghost town have been laid to rest with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council's announcement that the town will be rebuilt.
Last Thursday council released a plan, which was developed after consulting the community, that will give flood-devastated residents from areas of “horrendous loss” like Grantham, Murphys Creek, Postmans Ridge, Withcott and Helidon the option to move to higher ground as part of a voluntary land-swap.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor, Steve Jones, said the masterplan's unveiling was money well spent.
“Very soon after the disaster, it became evident that we needed to be smart about the way we repaired Grantham,” he said.
“As a result, we had a series of consultation meetings with the public that lived here in Grantham and we asked them how they would like to move forward.
“Obviously there are a lot of issues involved but this is the one opportunity we have to correct any problems.”
Cr Jones said the project was an exciting first for Australia and was estimated to cost between $30 million and $40 million.
“It is a big move forward for a relatively small council and it will be driven by the community as to who gets what block and will be drawn by an independent ballot process,” he said.
Of the 80 blocks available, about 55 had already been allocated with the goal of getting residents in before Christmas.
Cr Jones said the LVRC had decided to offer the option for those Grantham residents who wanted to move to higher ground.
“We have had an ongoing process for many weeks of discussions with landholders on a one-on-one basis,” he said.
“The actual cost if they want to rebuild or move their house, that physical cost will be theirs, this is a fairly advantageous project for a relatively small council to undertake.”
Cr Jones said it was vital the creeks were cleaned out, but to do the job properly will be costly.
“It is a very important issue and we need the right machinery, but the issue is the finance and the ratepayers won't be able to afford it.
“The State Government needs to help, it is their responsibility.”