News

New survey shows strong opposition to proposed flood levee

THE Morning Bulletin can exclusively reveal another phone survey about the South Rockhampton Flood Levee proposal has found a majority of people actually opposed to the $48million project.

The survey commissioned by Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne was completed only two weeks after a Rockhampton Regional Council-commissioned poll found 65% of people supported the levee.

Mr Byrne's ReachTEL poll found 55% of more than 800 people surveyed in his electorate on Tuesday night oppose the proposal.

Less than one quarter of people supported the levee, 18% were undecided, and 3% were not aware of the levee.

Mr Byrne is adamant the council-commissioned CQUniversity Population Research Laboratory survey of 423 people misrepresents the community.

"I will not have what is an inaccurate reflection of my community's views put out there uncontested," he said.

"People are very upset they are not getting a say on the matter."

Mr Byrne said he was drafting a survey on state-related issues two months ago when he felt pressed to add the levee question.

But Mayor Margaret Strelow has brushed off the negative results.

"The university's survey showed that when the question was asked without explaining the funding model the yes vote was only 38%," Cr Strelow said.

She said unlike Mr Byrne's yes or no question about the levee, council's entire poll was on a single topic and included a quick summary of the levee.

"We also made sure that our questions clearly spelt out that the proposal was that the bulk of the money was to be paid by the residents who benefited," Cr Strelow said. "To some extent it depends on whether the resident being asked had correct information too."

But Mr Byrne said there was not enough information on the levee as yet. He said council should have completed all of its study before going to the community.

"Really, until the technical component is completed, anything before that is an emotive debate," Mr Byrne said. "You can't have an informed discussion until the facts are known.

"Given how entrenched people's views are now, I doubt any amount of information will change their views."

Although he said he would wait until "the technical, social and economical components of the study" were completed before deciding whether to support the levee, he feels it is time to drop the project.

"There's no point rabbiting on if there's no will and no capacity," Mr Byrne said, referring to Capricornia MP Michelle Landry's statement there was no federal money to fund the project.

Topics:  bill byrne, flood levee, rockhampton regional council



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