“All levels of government need to work together for responsible flood mitigation in Rockhampton.”
That’s the word from Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry on the back of comments from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Local and state governments are calling for support but I don’t think either party has considered the full repercussions. There is still a lot of work to be done and as we have seen in Lismore and New Zealand in the last week, the construction of a levee can create a number of other problems,” Ms Landry said.
“Reports that the Coalition government has knocked back funding is categorically untrue. The Coalition government funded $400,000 towards the feasibility study in 2014 but has heard or received nothing since then.
“What the people of Rockhampton need is for every level of government to sit down and discuss the best options for the entire community and to make sure that, if the community wants it, the science is right to avoid creating a different disaster,” she said.
Ms Landry went on to say that if Council has completed the feasibility study, has community support and has decided how it will fund their portion, then for the sake of the entire community start the dialogue with appropriate channels.
“It seems to have fallen completely off the priority radar until now,” Ms Landry said.
“In the three years since completion of the feasibility study, no submissions have been made requesting funding from either State or Local Government.
“There are a number of important issues that need to be addressed as outlined in the 2014 reports.
“It would be irresponsible to jump on the bandwagon and throw political support behind a project for political gain.
Rockhampton Regional Council sent a submission in July 2013 while the Labor Government was in power. The feasibility study was subsequently funded after the Coalition took government in September 2013.
“I cannot speak for the Rockhampton LGA, but it does seem odd that the feasibility study has not even been discussed at the Council table.
“I will say that Rockhampton Regional Council is doing a tremendous job in flood management. I appreciate that emotions are high, but as soon as the flood subsides we need to have some factual dialogue that puts people and business before politics,” Ms Landry said.
A number of flood mitigation projects have been funded by the Coalition government in the Rockhampton Region, in addition to funding for the Yeppen Bridge and Riverbank Redevelopment (following Cyclone Marcia):
2015-17 - Rockhampton Regional Council - Nine Mile Floodway Reconstruction and Widening (1.4 kilometres): involves widening and providing a concrete floodway on Nine Mile Road – Commonwealth contribution $435,000 (total project cost -$1,450,000).
2015-17 - Rockhampton Regional Council -Stanwell - Waroula Road Upgrades Project: Pave and seal 4.5 kilometres of gravel road, and reconstruct and widen two kilometres of narrow sealed pavement on the Stanwell-Waroula Road – Commonwealth contribution $450,000 (total project cost $1,500,000).