ELECTION READ: Candidates on the South Rocky flood levee
AS PART of our election coverage, the Morning Bulletin has approached the five Rockhampton candidates contesting the state election to gauge their policies regarding some of the big issues for the electorate.
Today's question is: Do you support funding for the South Rockhampton Flood Levee?
Douglas Rodgers - LNP:
I started out not really being in favour of it but after seeing a lot of the further information on it, I do in principle support the idea.
I support flood mitigation, that's why the Royalties for Regions program will be so important to bring back to Queensland to allow councils to apply for infrastructure funding for things like the South Rocky levee.
I think it's really important if we're going to do flood mitigation works, we need to make sure that they're going to mitigate the risk of our greatest assets flooding and obviously the airport and the Bruce highway are two of our major assets.
The current levee hits one of those but not the other, I would like to see some more work done on the airport side of things as well.
At the end of the day, the state government has said they'd put the $25m in and I'm not about to stand in the way of that funding.
It's a council project, not a state government project, council has to go through their due diligence to make sure that those who will be affected positively and negatively know what's going on and I think there probably is more work that needs to be done on that.
The council needs to get their ducks lined up and apply for funding from the state and federal governments as they see necessary.
I'm certainly going to offer any resistance on that front, as long as council has done their due diligence, I'm happy to support it.
Kate Giamarelos - Greens:
This has become a political football for the old parties to squabble over while the public stands by without leadership.
The Greens support infrastructure that will improve the safety and prosperity of local residents, and relieve a substantial economic burden from state and local governments in the future.
All levels of government are flat out getting projects up and running because of the pressure to keep costs down, despite the delays costing the public. The Greens have a genuine plan to raise real revenue which can be put back into regional communities.
We must recognise the impacts of climate change. These weather events will only become more frequent and more severe in years to come. We should be ready to protect our residents by getting these projects underway and delivered in a timely manner.
Margaret Strelow - Independent:
I will push for levee banks in South Rockhampton, North Rockhampton and around our vital airport.
I am asking for Government commitment to a development that will save all levels of Government more than it costs. And it's not just reduced disaster costs (in categories B and C) during the next flood.
It is also as an alternative to raising Gladstone Road as the levee keeps this part of the Bruce Highway dry.
Raising Gladstone Road is scheduled for an estimated $40m+ in official Main Roads estimates.
Raising Gladstone Road will keep Highway traffic on Gladstone Road instead of sending it through Upper Dawson Road but it only keeps businesses on one side of the road dry.
There are two State Schools inside the South Rockhampton levee area.
I have been delighted with the support from the current State Government for the South Rockhampton Levee and encouraged by the Premier's commitment that that money will stay there while they seek Federal support.
Wade Rothery - One Nation:
Nothing changes, if nothing changes in Rockhampton. It's time we flood proof our runway.
I'm supportive of any flood mitigation method being implemented to save the heartache and the tens of millions in damage floods have caused in Rocky, but there is concern from residents that needs to be dealt with.
Only this week I had discussions with residents and businesses who have shown unease that a levee could give people a false sense of security, as well as force flood waters into other areas of Rockhampton.
There needs to be considerable consultation with the public and assurances given to put people's minds at ease.
Barry O'Rourke - Labor:
I strongly believe that the South Rockhampton Flood Levee is a no-brainer and will help to transform our city.
That's why the Palaszczuk Government has put $25 million on the table and asked the Turnbull Government to match it - something they have repeatedly failed to do.
The LNP representatives in Rockhampton have come up with nothing but flawed excuses for their refusal to back this essential project.
Their inaction is inexcusable and is costing our city the chance to fix a problem that plagues our city time and time again.
The LNP simply doesn't understand that repeated flood events do to Rockhampton's national and international reputation.
Potential investors in our city are influenced by the media coverage the city gets when the Fitzroy River busts its banks and water inundates properties and turns streets into canals.
Federal Labor is committed to fund the levee, the Regional Council is committed to it but Michelle Landry continues to stall. She needs to step up and fight for her community.
If we want to make progress; if we want to end this cycle of flooding and damage, there is only one way forward and that is to back Labor's vision.