Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has today called on Rockhampton Regional Council to decide whether the flood levy is a priority.
Ms Landry said that the federal government has not seen a funding submission for the project and that, until today, the levee seems to have dropped off the priority radar.
“While the feasibility study was completed in October 2014 with federal funding, it has not been officially presented and no official funding application has been received from Council,” Ms Landry said.
“Council has applied for funding for a number of other projects but the levy has not been one of them.
“Support is available for shovel-ready projects if Council can present the business case and show that there is widespread community support,” said Ms Landry.
Mayor Margaret Strelow has today been calling on the federal and state government to fund the levee.
“There are multiple avenues available for funding and the federal government would welcome a submission,” said Ms Landry.
“It is our understanding that the project is not shovel ready – the full costs have not been determined and there are still some investigations to be done to establish technical details, costs and environmental impact – including the effect on others areas.
“The areas usually affected by the flooding are constructions within a flood plain, making them amongst the cheapest homes in the state.
“A flood levee would greatly increase the land value, especially considering the proximity to the CBD,” she said.
According to their website, Rockhampton Regional Council ‘is currently investigating options for funding its share of the project. These options include possible contributions from industry and those property owners that will directly benefit from the project.’
“It is our understanding that Council has not resolved how they will fund their contribution; whether it would be all ratepayers or just those who live in the floodplain.
“I think it is vital that additional protections for the airport are investigated. The South Rockhampton Flood Levee would not protect the airport – this is something Council should consider in their deliberations.
“Already we have seen the positive impacts of investing in the right infrastructure; the newly completed Yeppen Bridge, completed in 2016 as a result of $136 million in federal funding, means that for the first time in Rockhampton’s recent history the city won’t be isolated by major flooding on the Fitzroy River,” she said.
In June 2014 a survey was sent to all residents of the Rockhampton Region. A total of 854 responses were received from across the electorate. This included responses from those whose house values would increase from the levee, and those who would likely be wearing some of the cost through rates or a levy. The results of this survey show that 78% of respondents were not in favour.
“Perceptions may well have changed, so I think it is important that Council undertakes the review, determines the cost and starts having a meaningful dialogue about what is best for the region,” said Ms Landry.