Businessman’s call to get started on the flood levee
ROCKHAMPTON fruit and vegetable mogul Dominic Doblo has called for the embattled South Rockhampton Flood Levee Project to get underway immediately, considering the majority of championing councillors were likely to be reinstated.
The state and federal governments have already been approached to cover the estimated $78.54 million short fall of the SRFLP after a revised costing of the project blew out from $80 million to $158.54 million.
Mr Doblo, who had initially intended to run for a seat in the council chambers, said after the recent council election at the weekend proved likely to return all incumbent councillors to their roles, it was the “will of the people” that council-led projects went ahead.
“Either build it or wipe it. If they don’t want to pay that, hit it on the head,” he said in reference to the council’s new woes with the revised costing.
“They’ve been wanting to build it for eight years, let’s get in and get it done.”
As for a lifeline from state and federal governments, little movement has been made as all levels of government attempt to get on the same page regarding what will be required of them.
And the responses from local members in the Rockhampton region were far from convincing.
Rockhampton MP Barry O’Rourke worried further costing work had revealed the blow out may be even bigger than initially expected.
“Earlier this year council provided a revised cost estimate of $159 million to the Federal Government and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“Based on further information supplied by council to the Federal Government and the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, an additional $30 million in costs have been identified.
“These were not part of council’s revised estimates.”
Mr O’Rourke said the added costs not factored into the revised figure included an additional pump station and land resumption.
“Council has been asked to explain how they will fund these significant additional costs,” he said.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry suggested the project be re-designed in a manner that would lower costs.
“The South Rockhampton Levee bank is vital to protecting businesses, schools and homes along with the highway but at the moment, the costs of the project have blown out significantly,” she said.
“The Rockhampton Regional Council may wish to reconsider re-designing the levee bank, so the costs associated with the project are reduced and contained.”
As it stands, the RRC has footed the lion’s share of the bill at $30million with both state and federal government promising $25million each.
However, it seems despite the calls for immediate action from Mr Doblo, the project is unlikely to get started anytime soon.