INUNDATED: Gympie's CBD under water in the 2013 flood.
INUNDATED: Gympie's CBD under water in the 2013 flood. Craig Warhurst

Levee could be back if funding is offered

A LEVEE wall to mitigate flooding in Mary St could still be possible down the line but Mayor Mick Curran said it would not happen without outside funding.

Following the announcement of a $4 million State Government funding package to progress flood mitigation in Bundaberg, Cr Curran said Gympie Regional Council was well placed in its flood prevention work.

Originally costed at $34 million, he said the LNP government had been fully supportive of the plan, which would have built a levee wall along the river behind Albert Park to protect Mary St and the CBD, providing protection against flood waters up to 22m high.

Gympie Regional Council would have committed $3 million to the project under the plan but appetite for the project was quickly lost when the Palaszczuk government was elected.

"Gympie Regional Council can't afford to buy out the flood-affected areas and we can't afford to go forward with that project by ourselves," Cr Curran said.

Still, it could be back up for debate in the future.

"If the opportunity of state or federal funding was to come forward council would certainly have to consider it," he said.

"All the work's been done to mitigate Mary St and the businesses in it. All the engineering work's been done, all the plans have been done and all the grounds have been x-rayed."

 

FOOTBALL: The flood waters heading in to the Gympie Football Clubhouse.
FOOTBALL: The flood waters heading in to the Gympie Football Clubhouse.

While it was impossible to flood-proof a region, he said flood mitigation was always an important subject for the council.

At the last general meeting, the council voted to table proposed changes that would have lowered the 100-year flood extents at Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Coast.

Concerned the council might be "jumping the gun", Cr Daryl Dodt moved for the council to wait for further information on storm levels and sea surges before making a decision on the levels.

The decision to table the proposal was close, decided by a vote of five to four.

Crs Mark McDonald, Mal Gear, James Cochrane and Bob Leitch were against the delay.

Cr Curran said the decision was made to prevent serious issues in the future, with the Q100 lines the tolerance level the council had to abide by on developments.

"The last thing we want to do is be giving approvals for people who are under that Q100 line in the event their investment could be damaged," Cr Curran said.

Although there were other options the council could look at in the future to protect against floods, they needed to be balanced against cost and risk.

As for any future political dams, Cr Curran said the State Government position was "no more".

Gympie Times

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