Calls to redirect South Rockhampton flood levee funding

Rockhampton flood levee funding shortfall

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A man waits for rescue after stalling his car while attempting to drive through the floodwaters in Rockhampton in the 2011 floods. Photo: Janie Barrett

A man waits for rescue after stalling his car while attempting to drive through the floodwaters in Rockhampton in the 2011 floods. Photo: Janie Barrett

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Rockhampton Regional Council will formally ask the state and federal governments to redirect their commitments of $25 million each to other priority projects in the region.

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A $105 million funding shortfall for the South Rockhampton flood levee proposal has prompted council to ask for funds to be redirected.

Rockhampton Regional Council will formally ask the state and federal governments to redirect their commitments of $25 million each to other priority projects in the region.

The 8.7-kilometre South Rockhampton flood levee proposal is designed to prevent the Fitzroy River flooding parts of Rockhampton's CBD, Port Curtis and Depot Hill areas during major flood events.

Deputy Mayor Neil Fisher said while council remained committed to the project, there had been no movement to address the $105 million shortfall in construction costs.

"My support and the support of the councillors for the South Rockhampton flood levee has never diminished," Cr Fisher said.

"(The) resolution clearly shows that council 100 per cent continues to support the SRFL and we want the other levels of government to continue to keep it on their infrastructure agenda for our community."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government was prepared to do the levee with the federal government and council, but said the cost of construction was beyond the realms of possibility.

"Unfortunately, all three levels, we're not agreeing on the amount that could have been expended on it," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"It has to be a reasonable one and that was always our intention to have a reasonable proposal."

Earlier this week Labor announced they would commit $42.5m to a flood levee at Bundaberg, if re-elected.

FLOOD LEVEE FALLS FLAT: The South Rockhampton infrastructure involves constructing an approximately 8.74km flood levee that extends from the Fitzroy Bridge in Rockhampton CBD to the Bruce Highway (at the intersection with Jellicoe Street) via Quay Street, Wharf Street, Fiddes Street and Jellicoe Street, in the localities of Depot Hill and Port Curtis.

FLOOD LEVEE FALLS FLAT: The South Rockhampton infrastructure involves constructing an approximately 8.74km flood levee that extends from the Fitzroy Bridge in Rockhampton CBD to the Bruce Highway (at the intersection with Jellicoe Street) via Quay Street, Wharf Street, Fiddes Street and Jellicoe Street, in the localities of Depot Hill and Port Curtis.

Cr Fisher said council would not comment on what other priority projects they would like to see the funds redirected to.

"We don't want to put the cart before the horse, the first step is to see if the money can be made available," he said.

"We know that the levee is important to both the Ring Road and we've seen just today a larger commitment from the state government towards a levee at Bundaberg, so council remains hopeful this project will come to fruition with all levels of government working together."

South Rockhampton Flood Levee Visualisation

Federal Capricornia MP Michelle Landry agreed with council's decision and said she had spoken with the Deputy Prime Minister's office about the three levels of government sitting down after the state election to discuss it.

"The Premier made a commitment down at Bundaberg. She certainly hasn't made that in Rockhampton," Ms Landry said.

"It is something that is certainly still on my radar, but it's something that we need to discuss and see how the costs can get pulled down.

"We're keen to have a frank discussion about this after the election."

More active cyclone season forecast

The South Rockhampton flood levy decision comes after the Bureau of Meteorology said there was an average to slightly above-average number of tropical cyclones predicted this season.

BoM said this year's outlook was influenced by La Nina conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and average to warmer-than-average ocean temperatures to the north of Australia.

"In La Nina years, the first cyclone to develop across the Australian region typically occurs earlier than normal, around the middle of December," BOM said.

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