News

Support for south Rockhampton flood levee rises

Fitzroy Float-el owner Tony Higgins updating his flood “tour dates” sign outside his Depot Hill pub after the flood peaked.
Fitzroy Float-el owner Tony Higgins updating his flood “tour dates” sign outside his Depot Hill pub after the flood peaked. Sharyn O'Neill

MORE than half of the 899 people surveyed about the proposed South Rockhampton Flood Levee have shown their support for the $48million project.

Over the past four weeks Rockhampton Regional Council has employed two methods - phone and post - to survey the community.

The council mailed 1000 property owners of houses and businesses within the proposed levee area who will pay a special charge to help fund the levee construction if it goes ahead.

Of the 476 postal surveys returned, 64% of participants indicated they were willing to pay to have the levee constructed.

CQUniversity Population Research Laboratory was also hired to conduct a phone poll of 423 people across the region.

More than 65% of those interviewed by phone showed their support for a levee and that was a good number for Council CEO Evan Pardon

"Council stipulated we wanted more than 50% of responses in favour of the project for it to proceed, so I feel very confident that our residents have been given every opportunity to have their say," he said.

"We've been talking with those directly affected and the broader community since July 2013, and these survey results confirm what we hoped all along - our community understand the benefits of the levee and will support it going forward."

Mr Pardon said council officers acted ethically, dismissing concerns the survey could have been rigged to support the levee.

"There was no cooking the books, so to speak," he said.

"Interviewing over 400 residents from across the community was a statistically valid amount given our voting population and it was reflective of the entire community."

But one in five people surveyed were concerned flood water would be increased outside the levee.

"Of course, some residents had concerns about the levee's cost and effectiveness, but hopefully their concerns will be eased once the feasibility study is finalised and released in the coming months," he said.

The council will use the survey and study when it applies to the state and federal governments for the final funding of $18million from each.

See results at rockhamptonregion.qld.gov.au.

LEVEE BANK CONCERNS (from phone poll questions)

CONCERNS ABOUT FLOOD LEVEE  Number, Percentage

The cost/expense of the flood levee 116, 27.4%

Will increase flooding outside levee 90, 21.3%

The flood levee won't be effective 38, 9.0%

The flood levee could be breached 16, 3.8%

I don't know enough about levee 21, 5.0%

Other concerns about flood levee 139, 32.9%

No concerns about the flood levee 122, 28.8%

*20% of phone poll respondents had multiple concerns

Topics:  cquniversity, flood levee, rockhampton regional council



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