Funding fails to mitigate Yeppoon flood concerns
From The Capricorn Coast Mirror
LAST week's announcement of $1.3 million in funding for flood mitigation has left some residents asking for more.
Noel Brown and John Ware have seen some major flood issues over the years and want the work to continue to protect homes and businesses in the Tanby Rd, Charles St, Cordingly St, Burnett St, Morris St and Whitman St areas.
Mr Brown said it was good to see money being allocated for repair of flood-prone areas in Yeppoon CBD and surrounding areas but was surprised the flood mitigation plans did not include cleaning out the escape route at Fig Tree Creek.
"At the present moment, there is nowhere for the water to go as the creek is full of silt, gravel, logs, mangroves, general rubbish and reusable gravel behind the horse stables in Morris St to 1.4m below the top of the bank," Mr Brown said.
"I'm quite sure with the Livingstone Shire Council just receiving $2.6 million from the government, the cleaning out of the creek should be first priority and this is also the view of residents and business houses in the affected areas."
Mr Ware said the creek from Woolworths to the Cordingly St bridge and then Cordingly St bridge to Fig Tree bridge was cleaned out after a downpour 1990-95 and was cleaned out to a certain degree in early 2000.
"Since then, tons of gravel, sand and rubbish has gathered in the creek in these areas," Mr Ware said.
"The main area where the water is not getting out from Barry St is because over the years the waterway has been inundated with sunken boats, poles and rubbish and this has not been cleaned in 68 years, to my knowledge.
"We used to park our fishing boat in behind the hospital.
"If you inspect this area now, you probably can't get a dinghy up there because of all the sunken boats and debris."
Livingstone Council director of infrastructure services Dan Toon said the flood mitigation projects towards which the council has secured State and Federal funding were to carry out works that would specifically address overland flow in parts of Yeppoon CBD.
"The success of these projects will not be dependent upon the state of Fig Tree Creek. The overland flow is within the Fig Tree Creek catchment and will be directed by the mitigation works as efficiently as possible towards the bottom end of Fig Tree Creek and into the mangroves," Mr Toon said.
"Fig Tree Creek is a defined watercourse under the Water Act and is administered by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
"Much of Fig Tree Creek above Park St is within individual properties and is not under council or government ownership and, as such, council does not have authority nor responsibility to enter or carry out works on this land."
Mr Toon said following the last major weather event in February, property owners were advised by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines to address erosion repairs and cleaning of the creek themselves.
"Council has contacted this department numerous times to request assistance and will continue to support property owners with advocacy on these matters," Mr Toon said.
"Council does have regular maintenance programs.
"An amount has been included in the 2014-15 budget to work on a small part of Fig Tree Creek. However, the greater program of requested works, as referenced and suggested by residents, is of such a significant scale that council estimates the repair bill would likely cost millions."
If any resident is concerned about a problem drain, silted creek or other potential hazard or blockage, they are encouraged to report this to the council's customer service team on 1300 790 919 so an inspection and routine works can be arranged.